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Shaw Merchant Group
Friday, February 02 2024
Merchant Services Business Opportunities: Build Your Own Payment Processing ISO

It is estimated that around 100 billion transactions happen every year through credit card. That means the credit card processing company can make huge bucks every month from residuals. But working in the credit card industry is not as easy as you think. There are a lot of moving parts involve when you start a merchant services company. If you want to become a payment service provider, you need to do many things to join the credit card industry. Let’s have a look together about the merchant service business opportunities.

The Credit Card Processing Industry

When you pursue your career as a merchant services agent, you build a relationship with the banks, payment gateway devices, merchants, and credit card machine developers. When the clients process their credit card transactions, you can charge the fee, which will be your residuals. Let’s see what the main elements in credit card processing are.

Consumer: The one who makes the purchase and has a credit card.

Merchant: The merchant is the business owner who sells services or products.

Payment gateway: It is a technology that connects the payment process company to merchants.

Credit card processor: When you are work in the credit card industry, you are a credit card processor. You will work as a communicator between the card network, merchant, and bank of the consumer to make sure that the transactions comply with the Data Security Standards of the Payment Card Industry.

Card network: This is the credit card brand that the consumers use e.g., American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and others.

Issuing bank: The issuing bank is the bank of the cardholder. It checks to ensure that the consumer’s account has funds and releases them for settlement.

Merchant bank: This is the merchant’s bank, where he will have the account through which funds will move to the transactions the Credit Card Processing Reseller agent process.

Facilitation and Communication

If you have decided to start your career in the credit card industry, you will be a facilitator among the merchant and card network and card holder’s bank. The authorization, settlement, and funding are involved in this process.

  • The merchant process the credit card payment of consumer though a payment gateway
  • Then the merchant sends the request to the credit card payment processor for the payment authorization.
  • The credit card payment processor then submits the transactions to the credit card network like Visa, American Express, finally reaching the issuing bank.
  • The issuing bank declines or approves the credit card transaction and sends this status to the merchant through the payment processor and credit card network.
  • Then, the payment processor receives the authorized transaction batches from the merchant.
  • The payment processor passes these details to the issuing bank through the card network.
  • Some charges are deducted from the account of the consumer by the issuing bank, and these funds are transferred to the merchant’s account minus the interchanging fees.

What Is PCI Compliance?

If you want to be the part of the merchant services agent program, you must understand PCI compliance. The PCI compliance is the set of practices you should follow to comply with the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards). As a ISO agent, you should be offering:

• The equipment and software for PCI-compliant processing such as point-of-sale systems, payment gateways, terminals, and more.

• Quarterly network susceptibility scans

• Help in filling the self-assessment questionnaire.

Fees and Processing

When you offer PCI DSS equipment and software, you can make huge bucks by charging a fee for each transaction's processing. You can purchase wholesale buy rates and sell them to the merchants at a slightly higher rater to make your money.

Before You Start

If you are going to start a payment processing company, find the niche that makes you stand out. There are many payment processing companies like Shaw Merchant Group, but you can’t compete with them initially. All you need to develop the customer base in order to establish a long relationship with the local business owners. For instance, if you are working in the food services, you can cultivate a strong relationship with the restaurateurs.

Research the Market

In order to make a great start in the credit card industry, research the local market, and see what sectors are booming. If your skills and experience can match these promising sectors, find the services these sectors are using. You can conduct the free survey to find out either the merchant is satisfied with the existing services on the ten-point scale. You can send them the survey results on their email address. It is a good way to get insight into the local market and the merchants' contact information in your area.

Start Fresh or Franchise

You have to decide whether you will be starting a credit card processing company from purchasing into a franchise or from scratch. When you start fresh, that means you need to complete paperwork, pay startup costs, insurance fees, build relationships with the clients and banks, and much more. While you buy into a franchise, you need to have worked about paperwork, retaining customers, and decisions. Choose the way that is right for you and your career.

Choose a Legal Structure

Choose the legal structure that is suitable for your business strategy, which includes the partnership, sole proprietorship, and more. For legal advice, you can hire a lawyer who has experience in credit card processing startups.

Start a Credit Card Processing Company

There are some steps and legal documents that you will require to start a credit card processing company. It includes business license, Insurance policy, the Contract document, nondisclosure agreement, certificate of incorporation, business plan, and operating agreement. After deciding your niche, and legal structure, register your business with your secretary of state. Moreover, don’t forget to establish the tax identification number with the Internal Revenue Service. All these things are required to start your merchant services business with your credit card history.

Comprehensive Business Plan

Now, define the comprehensive business plan that includes market analysis, marketing strategies, pricing strategies, and competitor analysis. You can get a sample of a comprehensive business plan from the website of the credit card processing company.

Insurance Types Needed

You need Liability insurance, Equipment insurance, Health insurance, General insurance, Business owner policy group insurance and Errors and omissions insurance for starting your merchant service business.

Partner With Other Companies

Now, contact the banks that serve the local merchants and show them your business plan. Try to build a relationship with the small businesses in your area. It’s time to partner with the card network banks to handle the interbank payment processing.

Lease Equipment for Processing

When you are going to start a credit card processing company, contact the companies for equipment leasing. Small businesses often need POS terminals, ATMs, and credit card terminals. You can make money by offering them a choice of buying the processing equipment of leasing them from you.

Posted by: Shaw Merchant Group AT 12:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

In today's digital age, the use of credit and debit cards for purchases has become more prevalent than ever before. With the rise of online shopping and the decline of cash transactions, businesses of all sizes are increasingly in need of reliable payment processing solutions. This presents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start a payment processing company.

In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in becoming a payment processing company that specializes in selling credit card machines to businesses. By following these steps, you can establish a successful business that helps businesses of all sizes process payments securely and efficiently.

1. Understand the Industry

Before diving into the world of payment processing, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the industry. Payment processing involves the authorization and processing of electronic payments, including credit and debit card transactions. This industry is highly regulated, and there are specific laws and guidelines that must be followed to ensure the security and privacy of customer data.

Research the major players in the payment processing industry, as well as any emerging trends or technologies that may impact the market. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the different types of credit card machines available, including traditional terminals, mobile card readers, and virtual terminals.

2. Develop a Business Plan

Once you have a solid understanding of the payment processing industry, it is time to develop a comprehensive business plan. Your business plan should outline your target market, pricing strategy, marketing and sales approach, as well as your financial projections.

When determining your target market, consider the types of businesses that would benefit from your payment processing solutions. This may include retail stores, restaurants, e-commerce websites, and more. Determine the pricing structure for your credit card machines, including any fees or commissions you will charge for processing transactions.

Your marketing and sales approach will be crucial to attracting customers to your payment processing company. Consider investing in digital marketing strategies, such as social media advertising, search engine optimization, and email marketing. Additionally, establish partnerships with other businesses that can refer customers to you.

3. Obtain Necessary Licenses and Certifications

To operate a payment processing company, you will need to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications. This may include a Money Transmitter License, which is required in most states to process electronic payments. Additionally, you may need to become a registered ISO (Independent Sales Organization) or MSP (Member Service Provider) with a major credit card network, such as Visa or Mastercard.

In order to become a registered ISO or MSP, you will need to meet certain requirements set forth by the credit card networks. This may include demonstrating your ability to comply with industry regulations, as well as meeting certain financial requirements. Be sure to thoroughly research the requirements for becoming a registered ISO or MSP in your area.

4. Partner with a Payment Processor

In order to process credit card transactions on behalf of your clients, you will need to partner with a payment processor. A payment processor is a company that facilitates electronic payments between businesses and financial institutions. By partnering with a payment processor, you can offer your clients a secure and reliable way to process credit card transactions.

When choosing a payment processor to partner with, consider factors such as their reputation, customer service, pricing, and technology offerings. Look for a payment processor that offers a wide range of payment solutions, including traditional terminals, mobile card readers, and virtual terminals. Additionally, be sure to inquire about any fees or commissions that the payment processor charges for their services.

5. Provide Excellent Customer Service

As a payment processing company, it is crucial to provide excellent customer service to your clients. This includes offering round-the-clock support for any technical issues or questions that may arise. Establish a dedicated customer support team that can assist clients with setting up their credit card machines, troubleshooting any problems, and answering any questions they may have.

Additionally, consider offering training and resources to help your clients make the most of their payment processing solutions. This may include providing instructional videos, webinars, and other educational materials. By offering exceptional customer service, you can build trust and loyalty with your clients, leading to long-term relationships and repeat business.

6. Stay Current With Industry Trends

The payment processing industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and trends emerging all the time. To stay ahead of the competition, it is important to stay current with industry trends and developments. This may include attending industry conferences and trade shows, networking with other payment processing professionals, and keeping up to date with the latest news and developments in the industry.

Additionally, consider investing in new technologies and services that can help your clients process payments more efficiently and securely. This may include offering contactless payment options, mobile payment solutions, and fraud prevention services. By staying current with industry trends, you can position your payment processing company as a leader in the industry and attract new clients.

In conclusion, becoming a payment processing company that specializes in selling credit card machines to businesses can be a lucrative and rewarding business venture. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can establish a successful payment processing company that helps businesses of all sizes process payments securely and efficiently. With a solid understanding of the industry, a comprehensive business plan, the necessary licenses and certifications, a partnership with a payment processor, excellent customer service, and a commitment to staying current with industry trends, you can build a thriving business that meets the needs of businesses in today's digital economy.

Becoming a credit card processing agent can be a lucrative career choice for those looking to break into the financial services industry. As a credit card processing agent, you will be responsible for helping businesses set up and manage their merchant accounts, process credit card transactions, and navigate the complex world of payment processing. In this blog, we will explore the steps you can take to become a successful credit card processing agent.

Understanding the Basics of Credit Card Processing

Before you can become a credit card processing agent, it's important to have a basic understanding of how credit card processing works. When a customer makes a purchase with a credit card, the transaction goes through several steps before the funds are deposited into the merchant's bank account. These steps include authorization, batching, clearing, and settlement.

Authorization is the first step in the credit card processing process, where the card issuer verifies that the cardholder has enough funds available to make the purchase. Batching is the process of collecting all the authorized transactions and sending them to the credit card processor for settlement. Clearing is the process of transferring funds between the card issuer and the merchant's bank, while settlement is the final step where the funds are deposited into the merchant's bank account.

Choosing a Credit Card Processing Partner

The next step in becoming a credit card processing agent is to choose a credit card processing partner to work with. There are many different companies that offer credit card processing services, so it's important to do your research and find a partner that meets your needs and provides competitive rates.

When choosing a credit card processing partner, consider factors such as pricing, customer service, and technology. Look for a partner that offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees, responsive customer service, and state-of-the-art technology that will allow you to easily manage your merchant accounts.

Obtaining the Necessary Training and Certifications

Once you have chosen a credit card processing partner, the next step is to obtain the necessary training and certifications to become a credit card processing agent. Many credit card processing partners offer training programs that will teach you the ins and outs of payment processing, as well as provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in the industry.

In addition to training programs offered by credit card processing partners, there are also industry certifications that you can pursue to enhance your credentials as a credit card processing agent. The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) offers the Certified Payment Professional (CPP) certification, which is recognized as the industry standard for professionals in the payments industry.

Building a Network of Clients

Once you have obtained the necessary training and certifications, the next step is to start building a network of clients. As a credit card processing agent, your primary role will be to help businesses set up and manage their merchant accounts, so it's important to establish relationships with business owners and decision-makers in your target market.

To build a network of clients, consider attending industry trade shows and networking events, joining local business organizations, and leveraging your existing contacts in the industry. Develop a sales pitch that highlights the benefits of working with you as a credit card processing agent, such as competitive rates, personalized customer service, and state-of-the-art technology.

Providing Excellent Customer Service

One of the keys to success as a credit card processing agent is to provide excellent customer service to your clients. Building a reputation for being reliable, responsive, and knowledgeable will help you attract and retain clients in the long term.

Make it a priority to be available to your clients whenever they have questions or concerns, and always follow up with them to ensure that their needs are being met. Stay informed about changes and developments in the payments industry, and proactively communicate with your clients about how these changes may impact their businesses.

Growing Your Business

As you gain experience and build a network of clients, you may want to consider expanding your business as a credit card processing agent. This could involve hiring additional staff to help manage your growing client base, partnering with other professionals in the industry to offer additional services, or expanding into new markets or industries.

To grow your business as a credit card processing agent, consider developing a marketing plan to attract new clients, investing in technology to streamline your operations, and continuing to educate yourself about the latest trends and developments in the payments industry. By staying proactive and focused on providing excellent customer service, you can position yourself for long-term success as a credit card processing agent.


Becoming a credit card processing agent can be a rewarding and profitable career choice for those looking to break into the financial services industry. By understanding the basics of credit card processing, choosing the right credit card processing partner, obtaining the necessary training and certifications, building a network of clients, providing excellent customer service, and growing your business, you can set yourself up for success as a credit card processing agent.

To become a successful credit card processing agent, it's important to be proactive, knowledgeable, and customer-focused. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can position yourself as a trusted partner for businesses looking to manage their payment processing needs. Good luck on your journey to becoming a credit card processing agent!

    ©2023 Shaw Merchant Group is a registered DBA of EPX, a registered ISO of BMO Harris Bank N.A., Chicago, IL, Fresno First Bank, Fresno, CA, and Citizens Bank N.A., Providence, RI.