The payments processing industry offers professional salespeople a great opportunity to determine their own earnings. As an independent sales organization (ISO) or agent, youíre effectively your own boss and the master of your destiny. Develop a partnership with a reputable ISO, build your portfolio of merchant clients, and create the independent income youíve always dreamed of.
What an Independent Sales Agent Does
An independent sales representative or agent sells the services of ISOs and their MasterCard counterpart, the Member Service Provider (MSP). These organizations serve as ìmiddle menî between merchants and the credit card companies or banks, supplying terminals to merchants along with training, technical support and client service.
The agent focuses on developing the client list of an ISO through sales of its services to merchants. This involves prospecting for potential new clients, who are usually merchants dissatisfied with their existing payment processing provider or those who donít yet accept credit card payments.
After identifying the prospect, the agent pitches the services of the ISO he (or she) represents, aiming to close a deal based on factors such as:
- the cost of the service,
- stability of the ISO,
- the networkís uptime and efficiency
- the value of support, and
- peripheral services including administrative tools
After closing the deal, the agent maintains contact with the merchant to ensure his satisfaction and to be readily available in case the merchant grows his business and requires more processing services.
A High-Earning Career Opportunity
A career as an independent sales representative for credit card processing is an exciting and high-earning opportunity for successful salespeople who enjoy interacting with clients. Agents partner with ISOs to market and sell their services, which enables them to get a slice of the action without paying minimum monthly process fees. These can be fairly substantial and range from $3,500 to $7,000 per month, and an agent would need to write up a huge number of new clients regularly to cover these.
ISOs partner with multiple independent agents to get enough new and residual business each month to cover these fees and their overheads. Agents also have the advantage of being able to represent several ISOs, which gives them services to sell that suit a wider range of merchants.
An Exciting History
Point of sale terminals date back to 1979, but the first wireless terminals were launched in 1994. During the last 10 years, the sale of processing services has increased exponentially, driven by the onboarding of smaller merchants in response to the demand for card acceptance. Itís no longer just about credit cardsóthe advent of debit cards and other forms of electronic payment has made the shift away from cash grow rapidly. ISOs are now in demand to fill the ìgapî between the merchants and the acquiring banks, and sales agents are the lifeblood of the ISO. This has developed into an exceptionally lucrative career opportunity, giving ambitious, self-starter individuals an ideal way to work independently and generate earnings accordingly.
Evolution of ISOs and Agent Roles
What started out as a simple sales function has evolved into a high-tech, responsible occupation requiring a solid reputation, good customer service capabilities and a detailed understanding of the payments processing industry. Sales agents are not restricted to offering limited service options; rather, they can take on and represents as many ISOs as they like or are able to.
Agents frequently build portfolios containing a mix of high- and low-risk clients, large and small companies. Each type of merchant in the portfolio offers a different return. For example, low-risk companies provide reliable, ongoing income in smaller sums, while merchants considered a higher risk usually generate more business and deliver higher commissions. Companies with credit card transactions below $20,000 per month typically pay higher commissions than those generating $1m or more, because the larger revenue drivers usually negotiate lower corporate rates.
Sales professionals keen to write their own checks should consider partnering with a good-sized ISO and sell processing services to a range of merchant type. Work closely with the ISO to provide service and support, and to manage the relationship with the merchant to ensure their retention. If you're looking for an exciting and rewarding career, a partnership like this could be the solution for you.