Sunday, July 02 2023
If you’ve been considering becoming a merchant services agent for a credit card processing company, you probably already realize that it can be a very lucrative career path. Even better, it’s the kind of work that allows you to make your own decisions and get out of the stuffy office to meet people face to face. As a merchant service agent, you’re basically your own boss and you act as the middle man between the credit card company and the client.
Does this sound like something you could get into? If so, then you’re at the start of an exciting and profitable path. However, as with any other kind of work, there’s always a learning curve, especially if you want to be the kind of agent that clients seek out again and again. In other words, there are certain traits that successful merchant services representative have that help them rise above the rest (and make more money).
Have a Plan
The first thing that you can do for yourself in any endeavor is to have a plan. When you’re a sales agent, you’re basically running a business like any other, though this can require a period of adjustment for those who are transitioning from the lifestyle of an employee.
The fact that you have your own business is both a blessing and a responsibility. Yes, you have more freedom, but having a plan and carrying out every aspect of it becomes much more essential when you have no one else to turn to. Your credit card processor will certainly help you, but the direction that you want to take things is up to you.
What do you need to plan, specifically? Well, the most important thing you will need to decide ahead of time is how you will approach your market. Where will your revenue come from? Will you target people online? Will you do cold calling? Will you perform outreach to businesses in person?
Whatever the plan, choose one or just a few approaches to focus on. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Plan your focus and work your plan until you start getting some results (or not) and then pivot to another focus accordingly.
The point of the plan is to give you some sort of direction, so that you’re never lost in that no-man’s land of wondering what you should do next.
Leverage Your Social Network
Since finding a credit card processor can be an important step for a business owner, they often rely on referrals when they choose an agent to work with. Knowing this, make sure that you’re on everyone’s radar.
etwork and get to know people. Find people to spread the word about the services that you’re offering. You might even offer people pay for the referrals that they send you. It may sound a little weird at first, but it’s not that different from what you’re doing yourself relative to the credit card processing company. Either way, you probably won’t have trouble getting referrals from past clients for free if you’ve made them happy.
Just make yourself known in the community. Offer to help even when there’s no clear benefit for your upfront, and soon enough you will find merchants getting into contact with you. Trust is an extremely important element that cannot be underestimated, and you cultivate that through your connections and through offering people genuine value.
Pick the Right Partner
The decision of which ISO agent program to choose to work with is something that you should consider carefully. Not all credit card processors are created equal. Some might not offer very good customer service, or they might not have a good variety of plans and options, or they may simply not be willing to take on the type of clients that you want to serve.
You have to take many different factors into account. First and foremost, take a look at what the company has to offer your end users. Do they have free terminal plans? Are their fees exorbitant or fair? Play with the interface of the POS systems that they offer if you can. Are they easy to use? Do they use modern software and hardware that is lightweight and secure, or are they stuck in the last century? Try to find an ISO Program that offers equipment that is more or less future-proof, at least for the next few years. Look for a company that values change and is willing to adapt to the industry.
Get to know some merchants and merchant services agents who use the processor and get some feedback. Is the customer service good? Are they responsive and attentive? If you choose a partner that will be prone to abandon you, this can be a huge pain in the neck if something goes wrong, needless to say. Your merchants will be looking to you to keep their transaction systems running smoothly, and you need a partner who will be on your side.
Another thing to be clear on right away is whether or not they are willing to serve your future clients. The fact of the matter is that a lot of merchant services ISO’s will not work with businesses that they deem “high risk,” or businesses that tend to be subject to a lot of charge backs and fraud. Stolen credit cards and other issues are a sad reality of the economy, and in some industries these problems are more common, such as in ecommerce. A merchant services ISO may also refuse to work with a business that deals in “vice,” such as alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment, and other similar kinds of markets. If you plan on working with clients in such industries, you need a partner who will support you.
If everything else checks out, you will have to go over your contract and fee schedule. Just as you don’t want the fees to be too high overall to avoid gouging your clients, you also want a fair cut of the fees for yourself. Make sure that your merchant services agent program will give you generous options for residuals and bonuses. At the same time, also keep your eyes peeled for any deals that seem way too good to be true. If you can fathom how the ISO is making money because it’s offering sales agents ridiculously good incentives, something is fishy. This is why it’s important to do your research thoroughly before signing up with a partner.
There are a few important things to watch out for in your contract, or else you may endanger your income. Make sure that there are no exclusivity clauses. If your merchant services ISO wants to force you into a exclusive relationship with them, find another one to work with. There is no reason that you should be able to work with more than one partner, and the freedom of being able to switch if one of them becomes irrelevant will make a huge difference for your business.
Something else to watch out for in the fine print are any quota requirements. If your partner requires you to open X amount of new accounts per month, or else you lose your residuals (even if your past clients are still with the company), then run far away. Find a partner company that allows you to rightfully own your residuals. This means that you keep them for the life of the account, regardless of any new accounts you open, and you should also be able to sell your residuals if you would rather have a lump sum.
Finally, find a company that will help train you on all of the equipment and software that they offer, and that will help you read all of the forms that you’ll be working with. You need to really know what you’re doing to be a success in this business—but we’ll talk more at length about that below:
Actually Know What You’re Doing
When it comes to any field—from credit card processing to underwater basket weaving—the number one thing that will make you successful is to serve your customers well. In fact, in a lot of ways, this is the only thing that really matters to your bottom line. Your clients have a problem, and you have to solve it well enough that they’re happy with what you gave them.
The only way that you can do that, though, is by knowing what you’re doing. Make sure to take advantage of all of the training materials that your credit card processor offers. Read the literature and even go to industry conferences and workshops if you can. You will learn huge amounts of information by listening to people who have already been playing the game for a long while.
When it comes to your income, it’s also important to know what you’re doing. Don’t just assume that your credit card processor is paying you what they owe. Learn to read your merchant statement and go through all of the details every month. If you’re confused, your ISO partner should help you. You can also recruit the help of more experienced sales agents.
Be Completely Honest
Trust is important in business. It’s what will keep people coming back. It is what will make people hesitate switching to your competitor. The only way to earn and keep people’s trust long term is to cultivate a reputation for honesty. This cannot be bought and you cannot use advertising tactics to get this. You can only earn it by being completely transparent and honest.
Don’t hide the bigger picture from your clients. Tell them exactly what is going on, exactly how much they are going to pay, and exactly what they can expect with the packages that you’re selling them. Teach them everything that they are willing to learn and show them as much as you can about the equipment and software that you’re giving them.
When a client feels that they can trust you, and they see that you went above and beyond what was expected, you have a loyal customer for life. Considering the potential value of long-term residuals in this business, the difference between being honest and trying to turn someone into a sucker for short term gains could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Being a merchant services agent can be a great way to earn a piece of the very large credit card processing pie. The industry will only be growing larger in the next few years, and more opportunity will present itself to those who are highly motivated. Having said that, this is a very competitive field, and you will greatly improve your odds of success by following the guidelines above.
The credit card processing industry is like any other business, and your focus should be first and foremost with the customer. Pick the right ISO agent program, use your social network, and make sure that you’re honest and that you know what you’re doing. After that, the rest should follow.
ISO Agent Partnership
Become a payment service provider today and take your business to the next level. If you are a sales-oriented individual with vast experience in the world of payment processing or you are a driven and motivated professional looking for a new challenge, the SMG ISO agent program might be a great fit for you. With the highest paying commission structure in the industry, superior products, and sales support, our program will see to it that you are rewarded for your efforts.
For anyone with a sales background or a passion for the payments industry, SMG is the ideal partnership. There are dozens of reasons to become a sales partner with Shaw Merchant Group, but don’t just take our word for it. Here are some of the top reasons that we were given when we asked our ISO agent participants why they chose us and why they continue to work with our highly lucrative program.
Sales Partner Portal
With our industry leading partner portal, you’ll have access to online enrollment, training sessions, marketing materials, and you’ll always be ahead of the game with the latest news and promotions.
Stay up-to-date on merchant issues and their resolutions via automated emails and text messages that include a detailed ticket number describing what the merchant’s concern was and how it was resolved.
Registered DBA (White Label)
With our program, you’ll be able to market under your own brand, without paying costly fees! Your brand will be seen on the partner portal, marketing communications, merchant statements, and more.
Free Equipment for Your Merchants
Selling businesses on a new processing plan is much easier when you are able to effortlessly jump over the hurdle of the cost of the equipment. With this program, you can offer your clients free equipment that they will need for their processing provider change. This lowers the barrier to switching and creates a higher conversion rate for you.
Lifetime Passive Income
You will recieve 50–70% of residual income based on the pay structure you select. You will share income on every available revenue stream. With SMG, you get a True Interchange Revenue Split. Unlike other ISO agent programs, there is no basis points off the top for BIN sponsorship or for what they call hidden losses. Our sales partners earn more residual income with our 50/50 partner program than you would with our competition who claim to offer a higher percentage because thier interchange cost (buy rate) is higher.
$20K Performance Bonus
We offer a performance-based fast start bonus that is payable for anyone that onboards more than the standard threshold of clients in the first 4 months. This program is designed to reward those experienced sales members that join our team and quickly learn how to sell this product. The bonus can reach up to $20,000, making it one of the most lucrative and competitive in the industry.
Profitability Based Bonuses
We will look at how much profit is generated on the account after they have been processing for one month and you earn 14 times of the total profit. Example: If we retain $100 in residuals in that month, the bonus would be 14 x $100 or $1,400. You would have already been paid $600, so we would pay you an additional $800 on that account. This bonus is capped at a max of $10,000 per merchant per location. With our dual pricing program it is easier than ever to earn huge bonuses with a 14x profitability bonus. This dual pricing model enables you to maximize your bonus at $10,000 on almost every merchant processing over $90k.
Dual Pricing Program
When you are selling merchant services, one of the best assets of any partner program is more rewards and incentive programs that save your client money. The Edge dual pricing program is one of the hottest new commodities in credit card processing, as it is designed to save the client thousands of dollars in credit card processing cost, instead passing on the fee to the consumer in a way that isn’t damaging to their own conversion rate and revenue. We offer this program to our clients and make it easy to understand and present for our sales partners.
With some sales jobs, you don’t even have the option for medical coverage. With the SMG ISO agent program, you’ll have the resources that you need to provide healthcare coverage to you and your family at an affordable rate. We take care of our own, and when you are in our program you will have access to these benefits.
White Label ISO Program
Grow Your Merchant Services ISO with White-Label Payment Solutions
As an independent sales organization (ISO), you can upgrade your business by providing merchant processing services under your own brand. You may dismiss the idea at first, probably thinking that you don’t have the infrastructure or expertise to set up your own payment processing company. However, with white label payment processing, all you really need is a good ISO partner.
How a White Label ISO Program Works
To offer payment processing services under your own brand, your ISO partner will provide you with an online application page that doesn’t identify their company. This “white label” solution is ready for your brand and includes your logo, colors, and contact information, so your merchants only identify the payment solutions with your company. It eliminates any confusion among your merchant customers about who their service provider and primary contact should be. Your brand is the only thing the merchant will see on your website, merchant portal, and marketing materials.
Your payments ISO partner becomes a silent partner, providing technology, payments functionality, and services. This puts you in more control, allowing you to deliver seamless, consistent customer experiences in all interactions – and enhance your brand’s reputation. With this white label payment solution, you won’t need to overcome negative perceptions a prospect may have about the company your working with. This is because you are creating a unique customer experience. Better still, you don't have to fall in line with another company's existing customer experience.
Once you start providing white label payment services, you will also find that you build stronger, longer lasting relationships with your merchants. They'll begin to view you as a payments expert and an expert in the other solutions you provide. You may even find you are able to grow your customer base, as merchants in every vertical or niche can benefit from accepting payments, enabling you to market to more types of businesses.
Remember: white label payment processing enables you to earn huge residual income.
Our White Label Program Will Save You Thousands in Fees
Put your brand on merchant statements and applications — build your brand with your sub-agents and merchants. Full white label payment solution with your logo and branding on applications, statements, online enrollment, merchant and partner portals.
We at Shaw Merchant Group have an awesome white label solution. There is no huge package of documents for you to fill out, no approval process by Visa and Mastercard and the sponsor banks, and best of all no annual dues. Here are some details on the “White Label ISO” program:
What do we brand?
What we need: