Sunday, May 31 2020
Becoming a merchant services agent or an ISO is a major step, so it's important that you know the various pitfalls that you might face when working with credit card processing companies as an agent. Especially if you're relatively new to the business, you should keep alert that you don't give in to agreements that could crumble your business prospects over the longterm. Here are some major factors that you will want to consider when signing contracts:
Don't Take on Liability - Unless you are already a large and experienced company that can bear the brunt of this kind of risk, don't allow yourself to make agreements that hold you liable for losses. As an MLS, this holds even more true. Don't take on more responsibility than you have the cash reserves to manage, or you may find your capital or residuals drying up.
It's fairly typical nowadays for programs to not require you to take on liability, so there's no reason for you to attempt this if you don't have the means. Make sure to watch out for the fine print, though, and examine the contract for any statements that imply any conditions where an credit card processing ISO would have to take responsibility for any loss.
Make Sure You Are Paid Your Residuals Frequently - Don't deal with a processor that won't send you your residuals on time, every time. If you sell an account, you should receive your cut as soon as possible in accordance with the payment schedule, and you shouldn't have to face a waiting period to receive those funds.
Another thing to avoid are minimum payment thresholds. For instance, you may have to wait until your residuals have accumulated to a certain amount before you are paid. Yes, this helps to cut costs somewhat for the processor, but this is the money that is going to be flowing through your business, so you are going to need it in a timely manner. You are owed what you are owed, and you should receive it regardless of how much or how little it is.
Make Sure You Own Your Residuals - If you can't transfer or sell your residual income, you don't really own it. The bank or processor might own the merchant account, but you should own the residuals. These residuals are the lifeblood of your business, and without them, you won't have an asset that keeps paying you even when things slow down or you decide to leave the industry. Ideally, you should be able to sell them, keep them, use them as collateral for loans, or even pass them off as an inheritance. They should function like any other investment.
This issue can become especially dire if you find that you are unable to work or you pass into the next life unexpectedly. In such a case, you will need to be able to transfer that residual stream to new bank accounts.
Make Sure Your Agreement Isn't Exclusive - If you allow yourself to be taken in by a contract that demands your exclusivity, especially if you are new to the industry, then you have just entered an unhappy marriage of sorts. It might not be that you even dislike the processor that you're working with, but you are at a disadvantage if you can't see what else is out there. You never know when you'll be able to find a better deal or a more flexible company to work with. It's perfectly fine to have multiple relationships with many companies before you settle down with your favorite, and an exclusivity deal is going to hinder that, so make sure that you look over the contract closely.
Be Sure That Your Can Sell Your Residuals to Someone Other Than Your Processor - Again, if you can't sell your residuals or transfer them to someone else, you don't really own them. However, some processors have clauses in their contacts that compel you to sell your merchant account residuals only to them. This is obviously problematic if your processor isn't in the mood to buy.
Now, it's not out of the question if your processor demands the right to give you an offer before anyone else. Just make certain that aside from this, you can sell your residuals.
Think of the Future - Remember that companies always change, so you're probably going to want to consider a few things before you make an agreement. Where is this company headed? Are they likely to go through a merger or are they likely to be bought out by another company in the near future? This could potentially affect your residual income, so it's important.
Make sure that the agreement you make protects your residuals. If circumstances change, there are a few things that you can do, such as taking a buyout from your processor, taking one from a third party, or continuing under your current contract, which should be honored by the processor regardless of a merger. You may not be able to sell new accounts under the old Schedule A in such a case, but you should be able to continue getting paid in a similar fashion as before for the deals that you already closed.
They Should Not Force You to Buy Their Hardware - Your processor should not demand that you only buy equipment from them, and you should be free to choose your supplier. Now, it's perfectly fine if the processor gives you incentives to buy from them, such as heavy discounts, but you should not be forced to do this as per your contract.
Be Sure Their Reporting is Accurate - The rates of a given processor may be great, but that means nothing if they're actually charging you much more in hidden fees. You should be able to look up reports of what fees they are charging you and what residuals you are receiving, and the actual numbers that show up in your bank account should match this.
Go with a processor that offers the opportunity to look at reports online. This will help make everything more clear.
Never Pay to Become a Sales Agent - As in any other field, if you must pay upfront to join a sales team, then something fishy is going on. Don't fall for programs that charge you for training; there are plenty out there that offer similar amenities for free. There is simply no reason why you should have to do this, so be wary and steer clear from these kinds of processors.
Find a Company That Communicates Well - One of the most important things in any relationship—business or otherwise—is having good lines of communication. You should be able to have your questions always answered and your concerns addressed in a timely manner.
Also make sure that you have access to the management of the company that you're working with. This will help you get what you need much faster and it will also help avoid miscommunication. Going through all the members of the company's hierarchy can be like a game of “telephone,” after all, and things can get distorted.
Finding a processor to work with when you're starting out can be overwhelming, but it helps to know that there are many good ones in the industry. The key is to try many different companies and eventually find one that you can build a strong, long-term relationship with. If you're still having trouble finding the right one for you, though, feel free to get into contact with North American Bancard, and we'll help you out.
Sunday, May 31 2020
If you have past sales experience, that's often a plus, but a lot of the time there can be aspects of your past that will give you a disadvantage. For example, if you used to sell mortgages, you didn't have to worry too much about creating a sense of urgency, since people were already a little desperate because their new house was on the line. It's not too different if you're selling the actual houses either; if someone has sought out a real estate agent, they're looking to buy. The same goes with selling cars, since many of the people who are coming to you really need a new one and can't go very long without transportation. Your job would be a lot harder if you had to go up to random people on the street—or worse, random people getting out of their cars in a parking garage—and ask them if they needed a new car. Sounds ridiculous? Well, this is basically what your life is like when you're selling merchant services. This is why the mindset is completely different in this field.
Obviously, there are positive and negative aspects to this. Once you have convinced a merchant that he'd do better to change to your plan, making the actual deal is usually smooth. Just don't mess up, and you'll have a good closing rate. Another great aspect of this business is that once you convince a merchant that they need to change their processor, they will probably buy those services from you and not another random agent. This is all great, but unfortunately creating the sense of urgency that will get them to make a change is one of your biggest challenges.
Let's take a look at these guidelines that will help you create more urgency when selling merchant accounts to your prospects:
1) More prospects = more sales. You are going to have to accept that you will have to deal with a much higher volume of prospects than in other fields to close a decent amount of deals. If you used to sell mortgages, for instance, your conversion rate is probably high—maybe as high as 1/3 of your prospects. A big reason as to why this is comes down to the fact that your clients already have decided what they want to buy and are coming to you for help.
If you find a quality lead, the conversion rate is actually about the same when you're in merchant services, but the problem is that you will have to go through many people to find quality leads. You might walk into two dozen stores, but only find yourself able to talk to 20% of the owners, and only 10% of the stores you walked into had genuinely good prospects. A good prospect is someone who realizes that they could use your services and is eager to explore the options. This is why you shouldn't get discouraged if you find that you're having to visit tons of businesses just to make some progress. This is how the game is played.
2) Take it a step at a time. When you first make your pitch, you want them to reach a point of understanding that they need to make a change; don't rush them into make the full decision just yet. Your job at first is just to convince them that they would be better off with another service. Yes, you might be able to convince them of this and close the deal in the same session after you've had some practice, but these are still distinct steps. Just make sure that you don't make the assumption that the merchant wants a different processor—at the moment, they're probably not even thinking about it. You will have to convince them. The problem of course is that most merchants don't even think of this as a problem. They already put together their processing solution and they don't need to worry about it anymore, as far as they are concerned. They would rather put their attention elsewhere.
How can you overcome that default resistance and make them open to the possibility of switching? Well, you should show them that you're not trying to throw a wrench in their plans or rip them off. Let them know that you are only showing them how much they could save if they reconsider, and that they can use your service if they want to. Try to focus on convincing them that they need to switch more than that they need to go with you specifically. Tell the client straight up that you are not interested in signing them up that day. They should be under the impression that you are interested in getting to know their needs better, and that you are merely opening them up to the cost-saving possibilities of finding a better credit card processor.
3) Have some kind of bonus or offer. People like being just in time for “special” deals, and this can create a huge sense of urgency if it is available only for a limited time. Since you will have to get them out of that “analysis paralysis” mode and into a decision, it will help them to focus on closing the deal if you have some kind of time limit like that. As soon as you convince them that they need to make a change, you can start discussing your various juicy offers. Let's look at a few different routes that you could take:
Give them a Free Cash Gift – They may be a business owner, but chances are that they're pouring all of their personal resources into the business. It may not seem like much, but offering them something like a gift card or cash back when they make their account will certainly entice them. Make sure to start out letting them know that they won't have to pay any fees upfront if you work with a free terminal program or something similar, and then throw the free money on top of that to sweeten the deal. It doesn't have to be a huge amount of money—just 100 dollars will suffice—and you can easily take this out of your upfront signing bonus. Make it a point to mention this deal in your advertising. Basically, the merchant has nothing to lose here, and will actually make money upfront from the deal.
Give them a free terminal – Believe it or not, there are still merchant services ISOs out there that do not offer free terminals with their deals. This can be for a number of reasons, but generally-speaking you want to steer clear of these companies when you're choosing a partner. Make sure that there is an option to offer a free terminal to the merchant, since this removes a major upfront cost. Much of the resistance that you will encounter has to do with these upfront costs and whether or not the merchant has the liquid cash to cover them. Bring a terminal in personally if you can to show them an example of what they can have for free. Tell them you're offering it temporarily. Guarantee Them Monthly Savings – You need to first consult with them and look at how much they pay in fees to pull this one off. Tell them that you can save them a certain amount of basis points per month of the competitors. Find out how much processing they do, and multiply it by however many basis points you are claiming to save them. Just make sure that you don't work with very large merchants here, or else it could cost you too much money.
Once you have established how much they are going to save with you per month, make sure to zoom out and show them the big picture. Tell them how much they are going to save over the course of a year or two years. Discuss these big, long-term numbers instead of the tiny savings of 10 or 20 dollars that you might be able to pull off every month. These bigger numbers are certainly more motivating, and will get them to consider your offer much more readily, especially if some of the other offers above are included.
Hopefully, these tips have enlightened you at least a little bit as to how you can create urgency in your prospects. Do you still have questions? Let us know! Contact us anytime and we will be happy to help you.
Final Tip: Choosing the right partner in the merchant services business is key. We reccommend setting up your agent office with North American Bancard Agent Program. The award winning ISO sales partner program is your go to for becoming successful as a merchant services sales representative.
Download PDF: Using Urgency When Selling Merchant Services
Sunday, May 31 2020
When you're new to selling merchant services, lots of things can get confusing, but one of the most confusing things that you will have to deal with is understanding all of the statements that affect your residuals, and especially the fee schedules that determine your costs. Many times, this can be so cryptic that your partner company may actually spend some time and effort explaining the fees to you. At the very least, they should provide you with some kind of written material that demystifies things. Even still, things might not always be totally clear.
In order for you to have a better idea of your Schedule A as a new Merchant Services Sales Agent, let's break down the various sections so that you're not completely in the dark:
Authorization and Capture / Settlement Per Item Fee - A key part of your Schedule A, you'll want to pay close attention to this section specifically. These fees are associated with the front-end platform. Should the processor that you work with offer more than one front-end, this section might look a bit different, as they may break everything down further and have different costs listed for different front-ends.
First and foremost, you need to have your Schedule A on hand, so make sure that you ask your payment processor or merchant services provider for a copy. After that, you're going to have to figure out whether these three fees are depicted as one entire line or if they are broken down. Depending on your provider, they may be expressed differently. For example, you might find an “Authorization” line with a fee listed as $0.02, and that might seem uncommonly generous, but then there will be a “Capture” line that lists a fee of $0.07, and then a “Settlement” fee of $0.01, bringing the fees up to a total of $0.10. Other times, things will be combined already; for another example, you might see a line that reads “Authorize and Capture” with a fee of $0.06, and below that a “Settlement” fee of $0.02, making the total front-end transaction cost $0.08.
Since this is kind of complicated, you usually won't bother to break things down for merchants. As you explain things to them, just tell them about the total transaction fee and don't have them worry about the details. For you personally, though, these broken down fees will mean a lot more because they can certainly affect your residuals. To illustrate how your fees can make a huge difference in your profit margin, let's say you have a portfolio of 100 merchants and, on average, they perform 500 transactions per month per merchant. Now, let's say that you charge $0.10 for your transaction fee. With 50,000 transactions, that means you are grossing $5,000 in revenue every month. How much of that will you keep? Well, if you're being charged $0.05 total per item by your processor, then your margins are 50%, and you take home $2,500. However, if your fees per item are $0.08, then you're only making $1,000 per month in profit. That's quite a difference. As you can see, your profit margins will depend largely on your fees, so you need to stay on top of them.
Settlement Fees and Batch Fees - If you think that your Schedule A gets less confusing after all that authorization and capture stuff, then you're in for an unpleasant surprise. You might find that in addition to a settlement fee per item, there is also a fee per “batch.” The point of this fee may not be immediately obvious, but it's basically like this:
For instance, maybe one of your merchants performs 100 transactions via credit card one day. You would be charged a settlement fee that applies “per item” for each of these individual transactions. When your merchant is closing up for the day, however, and they settle by sending the batch of daily transactions to the processor, then there will also be a “batch fee.”
More than likely, your processor will have this fee on the Schedule A. Almost all of them do, so be sure to look at this section for how much you are being charged and pass the cost onto your merchant accordingly. As another example, your processor might charge $0.07 per batch (your cost), and you might decide to charge your merchant $0.25 per batch (your revenue). In this case, you're making $0.18 in profit whenever that terminal is settled at the end of the day.
Bank Identification Number (BIN) Sponsorship - You might find this section expressed a few different ways. All this really means is that your processor is keeping a tiny percentage of the profits (measured usually in a few basis points) before they give you your share. In case you were wondering what a basis point is, it's just 1% of 1%, or 1/100th of 1/100th (1%) if you want to break it down. So for instance, let's say your merchant processes $20,000. If the BIN sponsorship fee is 5 basis points, then your processor is keeping $10.00 before giving you your share of the profit.
Now, there are definitely more items on your Schedule A than just these, but they're the key lines that you should keep a close eye on, and they're the basic items that you will find with most processors. For information about other sections that may appear on your Schedule A, you should ask your processor for an explanation. In essence, these three line items are important because they are what is going to determine how much you charge your merchant. As with any business, you're going to have to deal with costs compared to your revenue, which is what determines profit—and the fees are basically your cost. You're going to use your Schedule A as a detailed list of your costs, and from there you can come up with a fair and profitable fee schedule for your merchants. That difference between revenue (the fees your merchant pays) and cost (the fees your processor charges) every month is what will give you your merchant residuals.
Sunday, May 31 2020
If you are looking to find out whether you actually own the residual portfolio that you are building, one of the best ways to do so is to ask the processor that you are working with to purchase some of the future residual. This is known as a buyout and it’s a very common step for agents to take when they are in need of quick cash from the sale of an asset like a residual portfolio. If you want to be able to take advantage of these buyouts, you need to be very familiar with what a buyout is and how it can be completed from your side. This guide to the process of selling merchant account residual portfolios can give you the knowledge that you need to conduct a transaction like this and get access to the funds you need
If you are going to be selling your share of residuals, one of the most important things that you will need to know is the background of residuals and how they work in order to determine the price that you might get bought out at. Most agents already know how residuals work--you sell merchant accounts and in return, you get a share of the income. For many merchant processing contracts, the merchant’s share of the income is about 50%, leaving the merchant with the other 50%. However, it isn't always the ideal situation for the agent to wait for their income on a monthly basis and some prefer to cash out their earnings up front. A buyout between the agent and the merchant processing company gives them the opportunity to do this and pursue whichever avenue they might want with their lump sum of cash.
If you are considering selling your share of a residual contract, then you also probably want to know what your earnings potential is from selling your share in these often steady and lucrative agreements. Generally speaking, a processor will pay 15 months worth of residual payments on your part in exchange for your 50% of the residual share in the merchant processing account. This means that the lump sum that you would be getting is 15 times the size of the monthly residual that you would otherwise be gathering from holding the contract. There are benefits and drawbacks to this.
There are a few possible benefits to selling a share that you have in a residual contract that continues to feed you money. The first is that you need quick access to cash. If you do, then this is one of the best ways to do it. A buyout comes with no obligation to pay back or pay interest--it is your money that you earned and you get to keep it.
Another benefit of selling your residual share is that you might get something in exchange for nothing, so long as you are planning on leaving the merchant processing industry. If so, then it’s a win for everybody. You will get to be paid 15 months for a merchant processing contract residual that you would otherwise not be getting due to you leaving the business. In exchange, you will hand over the asset that you do have to the merchant processing account where they will continue to collect residuals on the account.
The final benefit is that the payout of a merchant services residual contract buyout is actually pretty competitive, compared to what you might otherwise get with a fast lending service or another service that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. The payout of a buyout is guaranteed and you get a good rate. So, if you are in need of an injection of capital for a venture, debt, or any other purpose, selling your share of a residual contract might be the right choice for you.
Just as there are benefits to selling your share in a residual contract, there are also downsides. One thing that you should be aware of if you are considering selling your share of a residual agreement is that you will not ever be able to get this contract back and earn the residuals for yourself. Once you have been bought out, the movement is permanent. The merchant processing company will not give you a chance to get back into it once your financial situation becomes less muddy and you want to get back in the game. That’s not to say that you can’t close new clients, but you won’t be able to work with the clients that you sold to the merchant processing company.
In addition, selling your share in a residual contract could be a bad financial decision. Though it’s tough to assess this because everyone is in a unique situation, the theory is that residual income is basically a guaranteed passive income stream, after the setup is complete. So, how much does a few hundred extra dollars a month mean to you? Without the share of the residual income, you are left with a lump sum, which isn’t so bad. However, it does leave a gap in future wealth generations and could make it harder for you to survive financially in the long-term.
As a young agent, there are probably multiple situations in which you feel a buyout of an asset might be the right decision for you. However, buyouts from residuals should only be used in some situations. One such situation is if the agent needs a sudden influx of cash to replenish savings or consolidate a debt.
Another reason is if an agent or ISO has a large upcoming business expense that they want to make sure they have the freedom to invest if they so choose. With this flexibility, merchant services agents and ISOs are well-positioned to emerge stronger than ever from any situation that they find themselves in.
Contact North American Bancard Agent Program to get a full evaluation or your merchant account portfolio. Get up to 40 times your monthly residual to buy sell your credit card processing accounts.
Saturday, May 30 2020
No matter what business you're in, you're not going to get very far without going out there and finding prospective customers. Whether you do this in person or via the Internet, you're going to have to find a strategy to funnel new customers into your business. There are lots of different ways to do this, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to come up with everything on your own. There are already proven marketing strategies for selling merchant accounts that exist, and you can simply use those models and apply them to your own business. Especially if you are new to this field, don't waste your time trying a million things that might not work, when you can employ time-tested techniques.
The key is to keep things simple. No matter what specific tactics you go with, your strategy should involve finding your niche or market, finding out what they need, delivering that need, and then spreading the word about your services. At its core, that is basically it, but let's take a more detailed look at these various aspects:
Finding Your Market - Ask yourself a few questions. For example, who would use your services? In your mind, who is the ideal customer and who do you envision yourself working with? What kind of merchants have the sorts of problems that you know for a fact that you can solve? If you're already selling, what kinds of businesses seem to buy from you the most?
From these questions, you can begin to narrow down where the money is. Let's say for instance that you are selling POS services as a merchant services agent that come with a free terminal and a low monthly fee. You might find that small startups and coffee shops gravitate to your product more than larger warehouse stores. If you focus on the people who are truly interested in your product because you actually solve their problems efficiently, then you won't have to do much persuading. The best ROI when it comes to marketing happens when people already want to be sold to, so it's important to identify who that is and not waste your time trying to seduce people who would be less interested.
Finding Out What They Need - Of course, as trends in technology and in the market change, your clients' needs will be changing, too, so you should make sure that your concept of their needs is constantly evolving. However, you will want to have a general idea of what your clients are looking for at any given moment.
Think to yourself: Why would they want to buy from me? If you can't answer that question, then you have not catered your products to their needs enough and you may not know how to truly solve their problems. The cure for this is to listen. What products do your current clients give you good feedback about? What do they complain about? If you've lost clients before, why did you lose them? If a client chose you over a competitor, why was that?
Delivering What They Need - Once you know what they want, you have to have the ability to deliver it of course. This is why you shouldn't marry yourself to a single merchant service company. First and foremost, you need to deliver what your market wants, and the company that you choose as a partner needs to cater to that need. This is why you should keep your options open and always be on the lookout for new and better solutions to your customers' problems.
Spreading the Word - In other words, you must market your services, or else few people will know that you even exist. When people recommend you to their colleagues, this is of course the best kind of marketing, but before you've built up a reputation, you're going to have to tell people about yourself. There are several ways you can do this. For example, you can attempt to pay for leads that you meet in person, you can go the telemarketing route, you can pay for leads online, or you can even run pay per click (PPC) campaigns to draw new customers in. They all have their virtues, and you should choose a tactic that plays on your strengths.
Now that you know about your audience and can deliver on their needs, as well as spread the word about your services, how do you turn your prospects into customers and continue growing your business? That is the age-old sales question, indeed. Follow these general steps, and you can begin to see growth:
Step 1) Find Prospects the Right Way - This happens before you even begin persuading the prospect of anything. The first step to converting people is to find the right people so you're not wasting your time! Don't cast a net so wide that you find yourself talking to people who are completely uninterested in what you have, or even people who are only partial matches who need lots of convincing. Especially when your business is young, you don't have time to waste. Put effort into prospects that have shown a previous interest in buying your kind of merchant services. You can do this by buying highly targeted leads or by getting referrals from other customers and businesses. You can also try hanging out where business owners do, for example at local entrepreneur or business meet-ups.
Another great way to do this is to keep an eye out for new businesses as they open. If you sell POS systems as a merchant services agent for liquor stores for instance, look up who has purchased a license lately. You can even start by servicing people that you know personally who are in your professional network.
Step 2) Give Them What They Need - Solve people's problems, and they will sing your praises. Testimonials from other business owners can be very powerful when drawing in more business. Make sure that your existing customers have nothing but good things to say about you, and the rest will often take care of itself.
Step 3) Make Friends - Referrals are some of the best sources of merchant account sales. Partner up with others who are in business-to-business fields, but who are not direct competitors and have them refer their customers to you. For example, you can work with CPA's, printing companies, or even web designers. Basically, if you know someone who would be working with new businesses constantly, offer to trade leads with them if the customer genuinely needs the service (and they often will). Using these techniques, you will find that getting prospects and converting them into paying customers is a lot easier. Above all, always remember to deliver good service and you will always have an eager customer base.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Merchant Services Prospecting and Marketing
Saturday, May 30 2020
One of the most lucrative fields that you can get into as a salesperson is selling to other businesses and especially selling merchant accounts. Unlike most end consumers, business owners keenly understand the value of investing wisely in long-term solutions, and not merely throwing away their money on something cheap. If you want to truly contribute value to other business owners, while making a decent paycheck every month yourself, one of the best ways to do that is to offer quality merchant services. You will be invaluable to your clients, and if you serve them well, they will continue to look to you for ways to make their business more efficient.
Why start selling on your own, though? Isn't that a lot more work? What are the benefits if you're already working in a commission-based kind of job? Well, here are a few of the major ones:
More Control - Even if you're working in a field where you get a relative amount of independence, like in sales, you still don't have complete control, and your whole work life revolves around satisfying someone else's numbers. You may have your own personal selling style, but the overall strategy that the company follows—the direction in which “the ship” is being steered—is not determined by you, but by someone else. This may not be such a bad thing for some people, but it also means that your livelihood is ultimately in someone else's hands. What if the owners of the company that you work for make a dumb decision that spells the end of the business? You will have to suffer the consequences anyway, even though it wasn't your fault.
More Cash - Of course, if you own your own business, you have the potential to make a lot more money than someone who doesn't. If you're an independent contractor, at the end of the day, the people above you are raking in the most money. Sure, as a merchant account sales person, you might make a hefty percentage of that, but the fact of the matter is that your potential for financial growth is stunted. If you have a business that you control yourself, it is basically up to you how much money you want to make, and you keep more of the fruits of your hard work.
The Potential for Scale - The thing about a normal job, even a merchant services sales job, where you're working for someone else, is that you rarely have the possibility to scale things up. In other words, you can't “replicate” yourself by hiring someone else to do some of your tasks, and this can greatly reduce your long-term income potential. When you run your own merchant services business, you can choose to run it in many different ways, but one way is to outsource the work slowly until your business can practically run on its own. For true residual, passive income, this is the kind of situation that you will want to be in. This is what makes it possible for you to work because you want to, and to make money even in your sleep. You just can't do this when you work for someone else.
Now, you may be thinking: How do I start my own merchant service business? Maybe you've been a salesperson for awhile—maybe you've even been selling POS equipment and other important retail tools—but you're not sure how to make that leap into selling for yourself.
Well, unless you've invented and designed your own solutions, you're going to have to start by forming a partnership with a company that you believe in. They're going to have to make a product that you can really get behind because, if you're building a business for yourself, most of your money is ultimately going to come from the back-end, from repeat customers. This is why it is so important to take a step back and think about quality above anything else. By all means, find a program that is lucrative, but don't ever sell a product that you wouldn't feel enthusiastic about using yourself. In the end, this is what is really going to create repeat business.
What traits do you look for in a merchant solutions company, then? Don't be taken in by any fancy bells and whistles. Basically, these are the things you are going to want to see:
A History of Reliability - Again, there's no sense in selling shoddy services or products. Look up reviews of the company and decide if they are any good. Research their products and make sure that they are user-friendly. Find a way to use them if you can. The easiest products to sell are the ones that are actually good because they basically sell themselves time and time again.
Generous Revenue - Share Since this is going to be the core of your business, you are going to want to find a merchant services partner program that gives you a good cut of the sales. If you're doing all the work of finding and maintaining leads, then you need a fair percentage of what that customer is paying.
Residual Income - Part of what makes selling merchant services and POS services so lucrative is that there is often a monthly fee involved or else the merchant services company takes a percentage of the user's sales. As a partner, make sure that you have access to a significant portion of that long-term income as well. This is what is going to pay you month after month, even long after you have made the initial sale. This is where most of your money is, really.
Lots of Options and Flexibility - The company you work with should have lots of different options when it comes to revenue sharing, that way you will be able to build a strategy out of the one that best suits your business.
So, what specific company can you go with that will fulfill all of these needs? There are a few, but one of the best and most reliable is the North American Bancard Agent Program. They provide real value to their clients, so you should have no trouble working with them and building a stream of residual income from their products. Ultimately, though, just focus on solving your customers' problems and finding a company that can help you do that, and you should be able to start building your own merchant services business.
Friday, May 29 2020
One of the first things you are going to need to consider when you start your journey in the credit card processing business is what merchant services ISO program you are going to work with. Whether you are planning to become a merchant services agent or an ISO yourself working under a larger company, it's important to examine all of your options. If you're not cautious, you might find yourself signing up for a bad deal or even getting scammed out of your residuals.
So which is the best program to sign up with? Well, the short answer is that there is no “best” program for everyone. Each ISO is different, and so is each sales agent. Everyone has different goals, and so it's important to find a company that will be a good fit.
However, a lot of agents are seeing success working with North American Bancard. They offer some great commissions and residuals, and are a great choice if you're a beginner in this field. North American Bancard agent program has a diverse amount of products and services that you can offer to many kinds of businesses, so you don't have to worry about turning away merchants just because they work in a certain industry or are considered “high risk.”
North American Bancard agent program is one of the best in the country and has relationships with many different processing banks, which allows them to be versatile with the kinds of businesses that they accept.
Is Your Merchant High-Risk? No Problem! - Competition is a great thing for customers in a free market, but it certainly reduces profit margins for providers. One way that credit card processors can stand to increase their profits is to expand their range of customers and get into the so-called “high-risk” arena. Indeed, working with overseas customers or customers who run businesses in tobacco, alcohol, or adult industries can be a bit riskier, but the revenue can also be substantially higher. Many times, merchants who are seeking a high-risk account have already been rejected when applying for normal merchant accounts, and they will be more than happy to work with you. Signing up with North American Bancard, you don't have to turn away merchants in this extremely lucrative niche!
How Much Can I Make? - North American Bancard offers residuals and splits that are similar to what you might encounter if you approach a large ISO directly. The draw here, though, is that North American Bancard allows you to work with many different processors, and greatly simplifies the processes of becoming a merchant services agent. You won't have to sign up with a dozen different merchant services ISO programs just to have a decent amount of options.
Here are some of the great advantages of using North American Bancard's program:
Contact North American Bancard today and get started!
Download PDF: Best Credit Card Processing Company to Work For
Wednesday, May 27 2020
Most successful merchant services agents are very dedicated to what they do. If you take this line of work seriously, you probably make it a priority to deliver the best customer service possible to your merchants. You may even be the type who makes himself available 7 days a week in order to serve his clients during busy times or even emergencies. If you are really making an effort to give the merchants what they need, then you should be fairly compensated for it, period. Is your payment processor giving you all of your money?
As terrible as it sounds, it's possible that you may get shortchanged by your processor. Even some people that I know who have been in the industry for awhile don't know with 100% certainty if they are getting the residuals that their contracts state that they should. After all, these documents can be complicated, and it's just so easy for a company to nickel and dime you without your realizing.
I had this sinking feeling that something like that might have been happening it me. I was pretty sure that if it had, I wouldn't readily notice it—I was too busy working on singing up clients and giving them the best possible customer service. I didn't consider it part of my job to spend my time making sure that my credit card processors were doing theirs.
Do you suspect that your own residuals are coming in short? Do you think that you're being paid less than what you actually made? This can certainly happen, and here are some common signs:
Are any of these factors true about your residuals? If so, then it's possible that you are not getting all of the money that is owned to you. This can be hugely detrimental to your business, especially when you're first starting out, because you really need every penny you can get to help you expand. You don't want a payment processor that is engaging in unfair business practices and trying to leech money away from you.
Because of this, it is extremely important that you have all of the details about your payment laid out before you sign up with a processor. Make sure you know exactly how they calculate your residuals, so that there is no guesswork. Just as your clients have the right to know what you are going to charge them for your merchant services, you have the right to know exactly what your payment processor will charge you. After all, payment processing fees are going to be one of the larger costs of your business, so you need to take this into consideration beforehand.
In order to make sure that you are getting what you truly deserve in terms of residuals, take a look at this checklist and make sure that everything is right:
If your payment processor loves to play the mysterious role and keeps you in the dark about all the details—for example, by not offering a break-down in their reports and only giving you general details—then maybe you should start shopping around for another company to work with. Honest companies typically make it a point to be transparent, and you should know that a shady processor that tries to hide details from you isn't your only choice in this business.
These days, I work with a company that truly honors transparency, and I can always expect them to give me an accurate report that stays true to the original contract. After spending nearly two decades working with different processors with varying results, I stopped allowing this kind of vagueness in reporting to be acceptable to me, and I'm very glad I did.
If you find yourself frustrated in a similar way by the statements that you receive, then maybe it's time that you raise your standards as well. Remember that there are tons of options out there, and that you don't need to stay with a processor that doesn't respect the agreement that you signed or that makes tons of mistakes when calculating your share.
So, have you ever experienced an inaccuracy in your statement? What did you do to fix it? Let me know your story, especially if your experience might be of value to others.
merchant services commission, credit card processing residual income, merchant services residual income, how much can i make selling merchant services
Wednesday, May 27 2020
If you are ready to dive into the world of becoming a credit card processing ISO, then you are probably on the prowl for the best credit card processing ISO program. The merchant processing industry is a lucrative one, but only when the ISO chooses the right partner to operate under. The credit card processing program that you choose to operate under can have a big impact on your earnings, quality of business, range of potential clients, payout frequency, and many other parts of your business that should be considered essential. This short guide will give you the information that you need to select the best credit card processing ISO program in the industry and will even give you a bit of information about who we feel has the best credit card processing ISO program and why.
It is important to pick out the best credit card processing ISO program because the program that you choose will have some very drastic effects on the income that you are able to earn and other aspects of your business. If you want to set your business up for success in merchant processing, then choosing the ISO program that you are going to be operating under is a highly essential part of that process.
Each ISO program attempts to achieve relatively the same thing, but with different benefits and results that attract different types of clients and merchants. You should never assume that all credit card processing ISO programs are the same and have the same benefits, rates, payouts, and other incentives to get you to use their ISO program. Carefully screen the specifications of each program to actually find the program that is right for you.
When it comes to finding the best credit card processing ISO program in the industry, the truth is that there is no one answer that fits the needs of everyone. Each ISO program is different with their pay structures, marketing tools, and other resources that they give you to succeed in merchant services. So, the answer likely won’t be the same for everyone and will instead depend on what industry you’re in.
However, that’s not to say that some programs don’t rise above the rest. There are certainly programs out there that have displayed excellence time and time again, giving themselves an excellent reputation when it comes to payments, resources, and the other benefits that a particular program is able to offer.
While one program doesn’t usually fit all sizes, you can increase your chances of having success as an ISO by picking out a program that has repeatedly exceeded expectations and set the gold standard when it comes to credit card processing ISO programs.
When you are in the process of selecting a credit card processing ISO program, there are some select features that you should be examining to ensure you find the right program for you. Here are some of the features that you should look for when screening potential ISO programs for your ISO to partner with and offer merchant services.
When you partner with an ISO program, you definitely want to make sure that they pay accurately and that they pay on time. Closing sales as an ISO won’t help you unless you are actually being paid your residuals and commissions that are due to you. Make sure that the company that you work with has a reputation for paying on time.
A very important factor that you should take into consideration when selecting an ISO program to work with is what the residual rate is. These rates range from 50%-75% and are the backbone of your business. Earning residuals is often passive after the initial setup, so be sure that you are getting as big of a share of them as possible before moving forward.
When you partner with an ISO program, you want to be sure that the program you select has the tools and resources to make you more successful in merchant services. This includes the access that they give you to their marketing materials, initiatives, promotions, and literature that you can use to sway clients into signing on with your ISO.
If you’re looking to partner with the best in the business, then you can’t do much better than the Shaw Merchant Group. The Shaw Merchant Group has continuously proven their excellence and the quality of their ISO program. This ISO program has many benefits including high residual rates, prompt and accurate payments, and the ability to help market your services and provide you with the resources you need to close more sales. Choose Shaw Merchant Group if you want to set up your ISO for success now and in the future.
Wednesday, May 27 2020
If you are a first-time or small business owner, then you may have heard of flat-rate credit card processing. Every business needs a provider for credit card processing, as it is one of the most important aspects of any business--the ability to accept payments. However, choosing a provider and a fee structure can be a challenge that takes time, energy, and research. If you’re going to succeed, then you need to be familiar with every type of processing service and why they might be suitable for you. One of the most popular services purchased by small businesses when it comes to credit card pressing is flat-rate credit card processing.
Flat-rate credit card processing has many benefits, but it's not the right situation for every business. This brief analysis of flat-rate credit card processing will give you some insight that helps you decide whether flat-rate credit card processing is the right option for you, or if it's a bad choice for your specific business.
Credit card processing isn’t always the easiest concept or industry to understand
As a business owner, you are already aware of some of the struggles that you can experience when trying to determine a credit card processing provider. It is one of the most difficult things to do as a business owner, especially if you are trying to estimate the cost of accepting credit cards using a merchant services provider. Determining these costs can be difficult, which is why some business owners are drawn to a flat-rate processing model where the pricing is easier to understand.
However, these decisions depend on so many factors that it becomes a time-consuming task to determine which pricing model is best for you. To make it easier, this article will serve as a knowledge base and guide to helping you understand the factors that go into this decision and what concepts you need to understand.
Definition of flat-rate credit card processing
The first important concept of credit card processing to know is what exactly flat-rate credit card processing is. If you’re going to determine if it is the right choice for you, then knowing what it entails is the first and most important step. With an understanding of what flat-rate credit card processing is, you’ll be well on your way to understanding it at a deep enough level to decide whether it is the right choice for you.
Credit card processing isn’t free. It costs the merchant a fee to implement and accept payment processing solutions. The variable here is what the cost is. Just like in any purchase, there are varying costs from different providers. Though consumers don’t consider it, it is the reality of being a business owner. In addition to trying to find the lowest fee, merchants also face the possibility that credit card processing fees will vary within the credit processing provider that they choose.
One of the most significant and common reasons for credit card processing fees to fluctuate is the various fees charged by Visa, Mastercard, and other suppliers for using the card. In addition, there are fees charged by the issuing bank for the transaction and there are a couple more mouths to feed along the way. There are hundreds of services that are involved in this process and each one takes a different sized bite. For this reason, credit card processing fees can often fluctuate and have business owners confused about what they are actually paying to process credit card transactions.
To simplify things and make it easier for the merchant to understand, credit card processing companies have begun to offer flat-rate credit card processing fees. With flat-rate credit card processing fees, merchants are more able to predict exactly what the cost of accepting credit cards will be and forecast that into their profits and margin calculations. It comes with many benefits, but it’s not right for every business.
Benefits of Flat-Price Processing
As you can imagine, there are many benefits to flat-rate processing and that is why it is so commonly used by businesses that are seeking simplicity in their processing arrangements. When you have flat-price processing, there are a few aspects to love about your credit card processing agreement.
The first benefit of using flat-rate credit card processing is being able to have a predictable credit card processing fee each month. With predictability in the rates that you are charged to process credit card transactions, you can not only plan your expenses better, but you can also price goods and services better to provide you with a more consistent margin.
When you know what your processing rate is going to be, the need to fluctuate your item pricing will disappear. You can plan ahead and be sure of what you are going to be charged to process credit card transactions.
When you have a flat-rate processing plan, another benefit that you will be entitled to is the flexibility that comes with these processing plans. With flat-rate credit card processing plans, you often don’t have to get locked into long-term commitments that hinder your flexibility and make it difficult to plan ahead. For small businesses looking for short-term credit card processing or to lessen the long-term overhead for their business, this is the ideal situation.
Flexibility is also a benefit to any business that might be considered high-risk or in general need of agility due to possible changes in the business model, revenue, and other aspects affecting their business.
When you work with a flat-rate credit card processing contract, one of the most important benefits is the simplicity of the contract. As we touched on earlier, traditional credit card processing agreements will often feature clauses, charges, and fees that you don't even have access to seeing the details on. For this reason, in those arrangements, you can never tell exactly what your credit card processing fee will end up being.
However, with a flat-rate processing plan, you can always understand what the fees are and exactly how they impact your business. You can plan to include enough margin for your processing fees and make it easier to understand the implications of your credit card processing agreement.
Who is a good candidate for flat-rate processing?
If you are considering flat-rate processing for your business, you probably want to know a bit more information about who is a good candidate for flat-rate processing and which businesses should pursue flat-rate processing for their processing needs. It is very easy to identify merchants that are good fits for flat-rate processing because of the straightforward nature of flat-rate processing.
Startups are the ideal businesses for flat-rate processing because they usually need to have less overhead and a shorter contract. Startups are often young and unstable, so having a processor that is flexible in the terms is ideal. Startups also typically have a lower volume of transactions. Many credit card processing companies have solutions that are specifically geared towards the needs of startups and young companies.
Small and local businesses are another frequent customer of flat-rate processing solutions. This is because small and local businesses typically have a much lower volume of transactions than larger companies and they are unable to attain better rates. In addition, small businesses are slightly more unstable and higher risk than other companies and don’t have the leverage to get favorable contracts with other processing solutions.
Businesses that are higher risk industries also tend to use flat-rate processing because they are subject to riskier transactions that could lead to increased fees by processing companies. If they are able to get an account with a flat-rate processor, then high-risk businesses typically take that opportunity because it is a favorable situation for them.
Doing better than flat-rate processing
For some, flat-rate processing simply isn’t a great option. This leaves many wondering if it’s possible to get a better deal than flat-rate processing. It’s true, there are some downsides to flat-rate processing and that is the reason that some choose to pursue other options. It is possible to get a better deal than flat-rate processing has to offer, but there are certain conditions that you have to meet.
The first condition that you have to meet if you want to get a better deal on your processing than what flat-rate processing has to offer is that you have to be able to do a high volume of transactions. The higher the volume, the better deal you are going to get on your processing.
Another condition that you will have to meet if you are going to get a better rate than what most flat-rate processing solutions have to offer is you will most likely have to sign a longer-term contract for your processing needs. This means less flexibility, but it is possible that you will get a better rate, though it will be dynamic and subject to change.
If you are a business that cannot get flat-rate processing or you do a high volume of transactions for an established and long-lasting business, then you can possibly get a better deal by going with a solution other than flat-rate processing.
Tuesday, May 26 2020
Over time, working in the payment processing business and the Point of Sale business as a merchant services agent has slowly melded into one, thanks to customer demand for an all-in-one solution, and you may find yourself needing to offer this option to your own customers. POS terminals are easier to use these days than they were in the past, and most of your clients are going to be well familiar with the benefits that a good POS delivers over an old-fashioned cash register. If you give your clients the option of a POS solution, you'll be able to serve a more diverse range of customers, and even some very high volume accounts that will net you a decent profit in transaction fees. A merchant services ISO worth its salt will in turn have great free terminal offers that agents can pass on to the end users for no upfront cost.
Since the providers of more of these terminals can essentially lock customers to one specific processor, it is hard to sell to merchants if you can't offer your own POS solution. This gives the merchants a way out without having to pay the upfront costs of getting a neutral terminal. You can basically eliminate a huge factor in a merchant's hesitation to switch over to your service.
POS Benefits and Customer Loyalty – POS systems do so much more than just take people's money; they are an important part of keeping track of the business's logistical concerns, and the business owner likely uses its processes on a daily basis. For example, a POS will handle credit cards, but it can also handle employee time clocks, sales reports, inventory tracking, and other important analytics. Since a POS can be so important and simplify so many daily actions, business owners will be more hesitant to switch to other providers once you have them “hooked” on your particular POS and its familiar interface. The last thing that business owners are looking to do is fix something that isn't broken, so they are likely to stay with you over the long-term. This makes for a much more consistent portfolio.
High Profit – Most merchants that are high volume, such as large restaurants and retail companies, must have a POS for all of its functions. Higher volume means more transaction fees, which means more profit for you. It would be harder to get these accounts if you could not offer your clients a POS solution.
Better Margins – Sure, if your a merchant services ISO or agent pitching lower rates to a merchant makes sense, and it may indeed convince them, but you'll have much more leverage if you throw a POS into the deal. You can also get away with charging more in fees this way because you're not focusing so much on competing at the price level.
Bonuses – Depending on the merchant services company that you're working with, you may also receive a bonus for every terminal that you provide to a merchant, even if you offered it to them for free.
Making Yourself the Better Option – When someone is a business owner, they want their life solutions to be as simple and easy as possible because they don't have time to mess around with the technology that they need to get the job done. Because of this, merchants are almost always going to prefer an all-in-one POS solution over just a simple credit card machine if they can get it for around the same price. By offering a POS, you are instantly making yourself a better option from other sales agents who are stuck in the past and aren't offering complete POS options.
Setting Yourself Up for the Future – The future is trending towards full POS options for most merchants as costs continue to plummet. If you give your merchants a POS now, you are effectively insuring yourself against obsolescence. Your clients will be less likely to be seduced by other sales agent in the future, since they will have everything that they need for quite some time.
POS Training – It might seem difficult to get started selling merchant accounts and POS systems to your clients if you never have before, or if you consider yourself to be technophobic. Luckily, we offer training to get you up to speed. Just let us teach you, and you will know exactly what you're doing faster than you probably thought possible. All of our courses—which you can take in person or online—are free, by the way.
The Basics of POS – Our first training course is an online one that you can take at your own pace, and that will show you the basics of how to sell merchant services and POS systems to your merchants. You will learn the ins and outs of the software and the hardware, as well as all of the back-end features that your clients will enjoy. You will also learn all about the benefits of POS systems over traditional credit card terminals, and you'll acquire plenty of material that you can use when you're persuading merchants to switch to your services.
Webinars – When you are done with the basic course and are ready to get started selling, this doesn't suddenly mean that your education is done. Just as technology changes, your knowledge about these terminals will have to evolve as well, so you would do well to learn as much as you can about these terminals. It will help you understand them better and offer good customer support. Join us regularly and we will give you all the latest updates on what you need to know. Become a merchant services agent and POS expert with us!
Certification – If you feel that you want to expand your credentials even more, you can become certified with us. Visit our training center in person, and you can join our certification program. It involves a four-day class where you learn all about the different POS sub-types that we produce for merchants, and it will give you a very deep understanding of the products that you're selling. From there, you will become extremely prepared to sell merchant accounts and POS systems to any kind of merchant and will be able to give professional-level demos to your clients. Optionally, you can become certified to install your own POS systems at your merchant's location.
A True Merchant Service Company – We don't just offer POS systems; we offer just about any sort of solution that a merchant will ever need. From our free POS terminals, to our stand-alone credit card machines, to our free cash register, we have exactly what you're looking for to suit the specific needs of your specific clients. Our terminals are technologically advanced and ergonomic, and are extremely competitive in terms of functionality.
Profitable Fee Schedule – You are in the business to make a profit, so you're going to want a Schedule A that will allow you to make the kind of money you need. Our Schedule A is quite competitive and we offer many other benefits to working with us. For example, you can receive very handsome sign-up bonuses through us, as well as a 75% residual split. We allow you to build custom solutions for your clients as well, so that you can be sure that you are giving them the best deal and that you are more likely to close. We offer lucrative buyouts to help you raise the capital that you need when you are growing, as well as ISO private label opportunities.
Get in touch with us today if you want to learn more about becoming a Credit Card Processing ISO or Agent!
Tuesday, May 26 2020
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 sales 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 sales agents 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 merchant services ISO 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 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 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 merchant services 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.
Tuesday, May 26 2020
No matter how lucrative the business, a merchant may find himself lacking liquid capital when he needs it the most. Fast-growing businesses need a way to pay for large upfront costs, and sometimes they might not be able to secure a traditional loan fast enough. Rather than waiting to save the money or struggling to find an investor through the usual avenues, merchants can also seek a merchant cash advance from their credit card processor. In fact, not only can this be a great solution for merchants, but it can be an incredibly lucrative opportunity for merchant cash advance sales agents and merchant cash advance ISO's.
If you're an agent who wants to increase your revenue substantially, you should probably consider looking into merchant cash advances. At the very least, look for a partner company that offers a good merchant cash advance ISO program as an option for your clients—you may find that they are more in demand than you might have initially thought.
How can merchant cash advances make you money, though? Well, first, let's a explore a few aspects of these deals and how they work:
What is a Merchant Cash Advance?
In short, this is when a credit card processing company buys a percentage of the merchant's future credit card sales, giving them cash up front. It's essentially a loan that is guaranteed by the future sales, and there's no need for collateral because the processor automatically repays itself every day. Perhaps you have experienced something similar as a consumer, where you guaranteed a short-term cash advance with a post-dated personal check. This works in a similar way, except with the promise of a portion of the merchant's revenue.
The merchants can then use this liquid capital in a number of ways, just as they would with any other loan. For example, they may purchase equipment to make their business more efficient, use the money to open new physical locations, update their technology, buy more inventory if they anticipate a spike in demand, or attempt to expand their business through marketing efforts. Generally, it's a good sign when your client intends to use the money to grow.
These cash advances are easier to acquire than normal business loans on the merchant's side, and they are somewhat less risky on the credit card processor's end, since they will automatically retrieve the funds from the merchant's sales that they process. So long as the merchant stays in business, default is unlikely. Usually the loan is repaid in full in less than a year.
How Will this Make You Money?
When you find a partner company that has a good merchant cash advance ISO program, you'll greatly increase the service that you can provide to your client. That alone is great, but just as with any deals that you help create between the end client and the processor, you will receive a commission based on what the processor makes.
Even better, if you choose a good program, you will often also have the choice of funding part of the deal on your own, which means that you will have a much greater share of the profit. Partnering with a company that has this kind of merchant cash advance program is therefore a great choice if you are ready to start investing your own money very heavily. If you find that your pool of merchants is limited or you simply don't want to concentrate on acquiring a huge volume of clients to increase your monthly income, you can raise your revenue per client by offering cash advances as a service to them.
The good news is that these days, taking advantage of this opportunity is as easy as partnering with Shaw Merchant Group. SMG can help boost your businesses' revenue by offering extremely competitive rates and deals that will help your merchants get the funding that they need.
What Happens When Your Merchant Gets a Cash Advance?
The process for offering a merchant cash advance to your client is rather simple. As soon as you are signed up with a program, such as the one offered by Shaw Merchant Group, you can make a deal with the merchant.
The merchant will agree to sell a certain amount of future sales to the processor (equal to the amount of the advance, plus interest), and they will receive all of the cash upfront. From there, the processor will either take a percentage of each of the sales automatically, or else they will take a certain amount every day from the merchant's bank account. This is very convenient for the merchant, since there's no extra paperwork to do every month and the payments happen silently. When the amount (plus interest) has been repaid, then the processor will stop automatically deducting this money and things will go back to how they were before the merchant cash advance.
Depending on how you arranged the deal, you will receive commission for this upfront. However, if you put your own money into the equation, you will receive interest from the payments in accordance with how much you invested. By the way, you can also receive commission for the portion of the loan that you did not fund, just as you normally would. This is part of what makes these kinds of deals very lucrative for merchant services sales agents and ISO's.
When you work with Shaw Merchant Group, you can choose to invest some of your money or none of it at all, so it really is up to you how much risk you would like to take. Since you work closely with your clients and understand their individual situations, you probably have a good idea of where you would like to put your money to work and which clients represent a better investment.
As you can see, offering merchant cash advances as a merchant cash advance ISO is a good move once you have some basic experience in the credit card processing business. Get in touch with Shaw Merchant Group and we can help you design a great solution for your clients that will help them to reach their goals faster.
Download PDF: Merchant Cash Advance ISO and Agent Program Details
Tuesday, May 26 2020
Have you already analyzed all of your costs and you're ready to come to the merchant with your offer? Have you been wondering how to present it in the best way possible? It's important to keep a few guidelines in mind when you are making the presentation:
1. Assume that the “yes” was already said. The point of your presentation is to show the merchant all the details, not to make a close. Why? They are listening to you, so they are probably already sold. Make that assumption, and you'll be less prone to pushy sales tactics that will turn them off. After all, why wouldn't they buy from you if you're giving them the best deal?
2. While you are going over the fees with the merchant, keep things simple. They really don't need to know all the dirty details, and honestly they probably don't care and will just get confused. Point to some of the main critical items and discuss those, but don't get long-winded unless they ask. When comparing yourself to your competitors, by the way, it will seem suspicious and dishonest to the merchant if you don't throw in one or two negative things about your plan—just make it obvious that the good things overwhelm them.
3. Show your merchant their long-term savings. Avoid focusing on what they will save per month, and instead bring up the big picture, such as what they will save in a year or two years. These big numbers are not only more impressive, they are also the ones that matter to their business ultimately.
Explain your reasoning step by step as well, and how much you think they will save over the lifetime of the account. Bring up examples of what they could in turn invest that money in instead of credit card processing fees. Make the savings very concrete.
Finally, when you close, ask if they have any questions. This puts the ball in their court and makes them feel like there is transparency and obviousness in the interaction. If they have no questions, it also lets you know that you have done what you need to do.
4. Now you're ready to get to the paperwork. This is one of the most critical periods in the presentation, since you are changing modes and making the deal into a reality. Because of this, you need to use something that won't intimidate the prospect. If you very obviously ruffle around for paperwork and contracts and the like, the merchant could start to over-think things because the situation is getting “official.” Instead, make a smooth, quick transition to the paperwork. In fact, have the paperwork already out (under the cost analysis material that you were presenting), and you don't have to worry about this transition at all.
Once you quickly have laid out the paperwork, start immediately helping them to work through it. Ask some simple questions, like what the official name of their business is, what their legal name is, their address, and other details that make it obvious what you are doing. If they have a problem or object to your moving forward, don't worry, they will voice it! Otherwise, go until they say “no.”
5. Where you are more likely to meet resistance, of course, is when you have to input private information. Obviously, you don't know the merchant's bank account number or their SSN, and they probably don't want you to know it, either. In this case, give the merchant a pen and slide the paper towards them. Clearly indicate the section and have them fill it out, and always look away while they are writing the numbers. Don't make a show of it—just check your phone or something, or have some other polite excuse to not look at them until they are done. This private information is “inside” material, and people feel intimidated when “outsiders” get too close, so make it obvious that you're giving them space, or they may become hesitant, which is the last thing that you need.
6. Remember the follow up. When you successfully get them to sign, that's not the end of the story. You shouldn't suddenly abandon them just because you got what you wanted. Tell them that you're happy to work with them and ask them if they have any other questions. Stay with them for a bit to reassure them that their decision was the right one.
Monday, May 25 2020
When you're in the payment processing industry, you need relationships that you can count on and partners who can open doors to the right opportunities. If you run a growing business in merchant services, North American Bancard wants to be that reliable partner for you. Whether you are a sales agent, a small ISO, or are simply looking to get started in the industry, North American Bancard can help you reach for the stars. We are a broker with solid relationships throughout this industry, and we work with some of the best processing firms in the business. North American Bancard has helped countless sales agents and ISOs connect with the right merchants and build the kind of enterprises that make huge residuals for years to come.
For us, our number one priority is the customer and thier needs. We believe that a truly lucrative long-term business can only be achieved after carefully studying what the customer wants and providing the kind of solutions that will last well into the future. This is why North American Bancard offers a diverse collection of customizable solutions that you can bring to your clients in order to give them the exact kind of service that they need. This is also why NAB takes pride in living on the bleeding edge of the field and embracing new technology as it finds its way into the industry. In our view, this is the only way to guarantee a high retention rate among customers, and long-term passive income for ourselves and our sales agents. North American Bancard holds that seeing the bigger picture and serving a diverse amount of clients is the best approach to take.
North American Bancard has worked with many different sides of the industry, including merchant services ISOs, bankcard processors, merchant processing banks, electronic payment platforms, check processing companies, e-commerce, gift card processors, ATM distributors, as well as added-value product providers. We can use our strong connections in this industry to make your business reach its full potential and become the kind of success that you envisioned it to be.
With North American Bancard, you have experts on your side who can deliver results and give you advice. No matter what sort of solution you need to provide to your merchants, North American Bancard has a plan for you to make your vision a reality. Whether you are new or you have found yourself growing faster than you previously expected, get into contact with North American Bancard to find out what you can do to move forward. We offer merchant services ISO programs for those who are ready to take the next step, and merchant services sales agent recruitment programs for those who are looking to expand their business past a one-man operation. If you are an agent yourself who is looking for a challenge and a good ISO to work with, we can help you, too.
When you are fighting to reach your goals in the tough world of merchant services, you need a company who knows what they are doing. Let us help you grow faster than you ever thought possible!
Monday, May 25 2020
Merchant services sales such as POS systems and credit card processing are an invaluable part of any retail business, and as such the job of a merchant service company is critical. The role that the sales agents of these companies play is just as important, as they are the intermediaries that make all of these deals work. If you are a merchant services agent, you are going to need a merchant services partner that is on your side, or else you are not setting yourself up for success, and you are bound to disappoint your customers as well.
As a sales agent, you're running a business, so it's actually your responsibility to make sure that you have everything that you need to get the job done. Part of that responsibility encompasses choosing a merchant services agent program that you would be proud to be partners with. In business, relationships are everything, and you need to choose the kind of relationship that will benefit all parties involved, or else it won't be sustainable. Because of this, it is important to “shop around” and make sure that you have carefully examined the terms that you will be working with.
Not all companies will be worth it because they may be trying to get you to push a shoddy product or to try to sell way above market price, so you must choose carefully. There are a few key things that you should keep an eye out for that will indicate a promising choice, and ideally the company that you choose as your partner should exhibit all of these traits and provide you with all of these resources. Let's take a look at them closely to get a better idea of what your business will require:
1) A Win-Win Partnership - Of course, a business (even yours) will always act in its own self-interest, so agreements will often be skewed at least slightly in the favor of the merchant service company that you're working with. The point is to carefully review the terms and make sure that they are at least fair before you go ahead and sign up. It may seem like overkill, but you might even want to hire a specialized lawyer to look over the paperwork if you feel like you might miss something or if you're not totally sure what you're getting into. At any rate, make sure you have an exact idea of what the terms are before you get started or it may come back to haunt you later. As “the little guy,” you have a lot more to lose when things go wrong.
Here are a few things you're going to want to keep in mind when you're looking over your agreement:
- You shouldn't be liable for your merchant's losses or chargebacks. Make sure that this is stated plainly in black and white. You shouldn't have to bear any of the risk of the merchants and should be held blameless in the event of losses. You also shouldn't have to pay for any chargebacks that the merchant experiences.
- Your revenue sharing model should be balanced. This is especially true when it comes to your residuals. Make sure that you have a fair amount coming to you for every sale. You do all of the heavy lifting to get the lead, so you deserve a cut of the profits for as long as that customer pays.
- Don't let them force you into exclusivity. Don't allow yourself to be seduced by a single company because you never know how things are going to turn out, especially if you're new to the business. Relationships can fall apart, or you might notice better deals with new companies as you work. Never paint yourself into a corner and sign any kind of exclusivity agreement.
- Make sure that you get what you're entitled to, even after a contract ends. Part of what makes merchant services so lucrative is that you will have access to residual income streams even long after your initial sale. As the merchant services agent who established that lead, you are entitled to the residuals from the merchants that you have sold to. It doesn't matter if your contract with the merchant services company expires or is severed in some other way, you must be able to still receive that income for the life of the merchant's account. More importantly, you should be able to sell these residual streams as well, or secure loans against them.
- Make sure that you can move your merchants to another processor in the event that you are not paid. Normally, payment processors aren't going to want you to take the leads you gave them and then switch them to another processor, but you may have to do this to protect your asset.
This may take some negotiation, but you're going to want to establish that if the merchant services company fails to pay you your residuals from a given merchant, that you can switch the merchant to another service provider. This is not a completely exhaustive list, which is why you will want to check with a lawyer if you can. Speaking of lawyers, make sure that your contract specifies that you can recover attorney's fees in the even of a lawsuit.
2) A Price Structure That Works - Selling merchant services is a line of work with a huge potential for both active and passive income. As you might expect, this means that you're certainly not the only sales agent out there and that you have tons of competition. Though it is always best to not attempt to compete on price, and to focus on value creation for your customer, you won't get very far if your prices are too high.
Try to negotiate to get the best deal with the payment processor or else you are going to have a hard time selling your wares. The fees for your merchant can really add up, so make sure that you are passing on the savings. In the long run, the better deal your clients get, the better your residuals are likely to be. Remember that you are helping your merchants to stay in business.
Perform your due diligence and make all the calculations before you determine if a deal is worth it or not.
3) Multiple Payment Processors - Your merchant service partner ideally should allow your merchant to use many different payment processing services. The more options, the better, because there's nothing worse than losing a potential lead simply because they want to use their current processor. Whatever POS system that you are selling, it should be flexible and allow for many different processors and payment methods.
4) Good Customer Service - Customers are the heart of your business, and without them, you can't hope to thrive. Ideally, since so much of your business is based on residuals, you want to acquire customers that you can serve over the long-term. One of the things that will absolutely kill customer retention is bad technical support and customer service. You may be doing the best you can to solve your client's problems, but if the merchant services company can't hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to customer support, it is like you have wasted all of your efforts.
Makes sure to ask lots of questions before you sign a contract and do plenty of research about the company, because you are ultimately putting your valuable merchant connections into their hands. Take a few of these factors into consideration:
- The size of their customer support department. What kind of investment, in terms of labor, do they make in the realm of customer support? If you or your clients call to fix some technical issues, how long will you have to wait before you can talk to a human being?
- The quality of the customer support. Are the people on the other end of the line well-trained? Do they actually successful solve your clients' problems in a timely manner, or do they seem under-trained and clueless? Do novel problems that don't follow their script make them confused?
- The hours of their customer support lines. Do their customer support call centers have decent hours? Ideally, they would be available around the clock, though this isn't always realistic, of course. Another thing you will want to consider is what happens if a client calls and it is after-hours.
- Whether they do out-calls. Is the merchant service company willing to send tech support technicians out to your merchant's location? Many times, this can actually be faster and easier for your merchant than their having sit there on the line with a remote technician, especially if the problem is hardware-related.
- What is the training like? What kind of help does the merchant service provider give to your client to get them up and running? Do they offer training material? Do representatives from the company go on-site to show them?
- Are you informed about customer service issues or kept in the dark? At the very least, you should get a call or some form of notification when your merchant is having technical trouble. Even better, it would be great if they provide you with a way to remotely access all of your client's trouble tickets.
Remember all of these factors when you are choosing a good merchant services ISO/agent program. It can mean a lot when it comes to customer retention. The thing is, it may be hard to determine some of these things—like, for example, the exact quality of their customer service team—until you are actively working with them. This is why it is so important to never sign an exclusivity deal with any one company when you are first starting out, as there are always going to be a few unknowns that you can't quite fathom until you're out there helping your merchants to succeed.
5) Upsells That Actually Provide Value - A large percentage of the income that you will be making will come in the form of upells because it's simply easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell to a potential one. This is a classic example of the “foot in the door” technique, and you will find that you will be using it a lot.
Upselling can be a great source of income for you, but what about your customer? These are going to be long-term relationships for you, so you don't want to rip your clients off by selling them useless services that they don't need. This is why you want your partner to offer genuinely high-quality products that you can upsell to your clients. For example, if you sold a POS system to a merchant, and you learn from your regular communications with him that he is in need of liquid cash, you might be able to make a decent profit if your merchant services partner also allows you to sell short-term merchant loans.
6) Free Terminal Deals - Sometimes clients aren't going to want to pay for hardware upfront, especially if they are going to be paying a substantial monthly fee. A similar evolution has happened in other subscription-based electronics industries, such as the cell phone industry, where the customer receives the hardware for free or at a huge discount, but pays a service fee for its use. Nowadays, the POS industry is leaning in this direction, so don't be surprised if your clients don't expect to pay anything upfront.
In order to cater to this demand, make sure that your merchant services ISO offers a free terminal deal, even if they have other options that require paying for hardware. As time goes on, you may find that there will be more and more of an expectation in the market for free terminals, so be prepared. If the merchant services offer all-inclusive package deals that will get the client started for absolutely no upfront cost, that is even better. If your potential client basically has nothing to lose, then the sale is much more likely to happen. A lot of the time, paying upfront for a equipment isn;t really worth it unless there is some major advantage to it, such as greater flexibility and not having to be tied to a specific merchant service provider.
7) Decent Analytics - In our age of technological progress, there's really no excuse for a merchant service to not provide you with analytics on the back-end. This will allow you to manage your business and examine where the money is coming and going. You might have access to a few different kinds of information, including your merchant's sales activity, their history of tech support calls, and maybe even information about your own residuals or the activities of agents who are working under you.
When it comes to any business at all, you can perform the trial and error that you need to perfect your sales strategy much better once you have access to a decent level of analytics. Ask about this before you decide on a merchant service company. Even if you don't plan to make heavy use of these tools (though you should) it at least shows that your partner is technologically advanced and that they are ready to meet the challenges of the future head-on.
8) Good Training Material - There's no point in your client even purchasing a POS if he isn't going to know how to use it. Examine your merchant service provider's training and information material. You want to do this before you get started selling because 1) you need to familiarize yourself with how the system works if you are going to sell it anyway and 2) you need to decide if the information material is actually decent.
A good service provider will offer more than manuals, too. You want online resources, and some sort of training program, especially one that involves representatives from the company coming out to the field and showing your client exactly what they need to do. As with providing good customer service, a decent training program of some kind is critical. If your client feels that the system is too difficult or cryptic to use, he is bound to drop you sooner or later, and that is a stream of residuals that you will lose out on.
It just makes good business sense to make sure that your client is on board and that there are no problems from the beginning. Play the long-term game by making sure your merchant has everything that he needs.
9) Leasing - Though, as mentioned before, you will probably find that more and more of your clients will expect a free terminal, since the industry is trending in this direction, some clients will still want to lease equipment for various reasons. Perhaps they are interested in something more high-end, for example. Maybe they want a terminal system that is not tied to a specific merchant service, so that they have the flexibility to switch if they feel the need, but this means that they must buy the hardware themselves.
Even when a client wants to pay for the equipment, though, he might not have to pay upfront. Having a fair leasing plan means that the client can afford the terminal even if he doesn't have as much capital to spend upfront. This kind of flexibility is key in accommodating all kinds of merchants, and you want to look for a merchant service provider that offers this kind of option just in case.
As with any other kind of sale, you should receive a percentage of the monthly payments that your merchant makes on the equipment. Make sure that this is part of the agreement before you sign up.
10) Help Analyzing Statements - Reading statements and coming up with just the right pricing for your client can be complicated. This can be a headache even for people who have been working as merchant services agents for awhile, so you can imagine how confusing analyzing all of this unfamiliar financial information can be for someone who is totally new to the business. Make sure that your merchant service company is willing to help you on this front, and that they will provide you with statement analysis services if you should find that you need them.
Getting into merchant service sales is a great choice if you're looking for a challenging and rewarding career where you can legitimately help customers while making a decent income for yourself. There are few lines of work that allow this level of residual income and revenue sharing, and there are many directions that you can take in this business.
The first factor that you should keep in mind, though, since it affects so many other things, is your choice of partner company in this endeavor. They should be willing to give you a fair cut of the deals, should be willing to negotiate with you on the details, and they should provide good customer service to your merchants that will allow you to retain them as customers for a long time to come. The key here is to find a company with which you can forge a long-term relationship that works for both of you.
Not all merchant service providers are created equal. First and foremost, you will want one with integrity—this is the trait that really encompasses all of the others. A company without integrity is not one that you will be able to work with in the long-term because you will never be able to create trust. Make sure to perform your due diligence an research the reputation of every merchant service that you're considering working with, but a good place to start might be with North American Bancard. They are a solid company to work with and have a great reputation of helping their merchant services agents every step of the way. Of course, you don't have to take our word for it—always ask for recommendations and look at reviews before you make that first critical partnership decision.
Monday, May 25 2020
When most sales companies get into selling merchant cash advances, they concentrate on logistical concerns. They study what the market looks like, and try to determine how they're going to supply what it needs. From there, they concentrate on making as much commission as possible from their deals. This isn't a bad place to start, of course, but it's far from the whole story. Since the market is constantly changing, there's more to selling merchant cash advances these days than simply making commissions.
Sales agents and brokers actually have a huge role in these dealings and provide an important service to companies that fund merchant cash advances. Since their role might seem a bit vague to you at first, let's explain how a deal like this works, and then you might see the kind of value that they bring to this process:
1.) A merchant is contacted / a merchant contacts the sales company. This can happen a few different ways. A sales organization may follow through with a lead and call the merchant, or the merchant may contact the company after seeing information about the opportunity.
2.) The merchant will have to fill out an application. In addition to the application that will ask for basic information, the merchant will also have to send in paperwork such as bank statements.
3.) The sales company will continue to contact the merchant until he has filed the paperwork.
4.) The sales company will decide which provider should fund this particular merchant.
5.) The sales company will then send this information to the provider for evaluation.
6.) The provider will send their approval and conditions back to the sales company.
7.) Sales representatives then explain these conditions to the merchants.
8.) The merchant decides to take the offer.
9.) The sales company asks for the contract from the provider.
10.) The sales company gives the merchant the contract to sign and any other relevant paperwork.
11.) The sales company sends all of this paperwork back to the provider.
12.) The provider ties up any loose bureaucratic ends and then sends the money to the merchant electronically.
13.) The sales company is paid for the deal.
Clearly, sales companies play a significant role in most of these transactions. They serve as an important “middleman” that helps the provider and the merchant understand each other. As the market for merchant cash advances increases, more opportunity for both business owners and funders will arise over time.
Let's change gears a bit though, and take a look at what this means for the bigger picture of being a broker.
Supposing that nothing radical changes in this market, more and more brokers will tend to materialize and this will flood the supply side, which will cause most brokers to face a loss in revenue. Indeed, as a market grows and there is more demand, there is more overall money to be spent on brokers, but the “pie” will be divided into much thinner “slices” between them. In other words, being a broker will be less lucrative on an individual level. Brokers will find themselves working longer hours for less reward, and funding companies will continue to make more money.
In a case like this, you might be able to carry on for a time, trying to make as much money as you can in spite of the increasingly saturated broker's market. However, it's getting harder to build a brokerage company if your only source of income is commissions. You are much better off if you invest in the business yourself and partially fund these loans with your own money. Instead of wasting your time chasing more leads, why not make every lead generate more income?
You can try a few different techniques for making money in this business using your own cash, and we'll discuss some of those basic strategies in a moment. First, let's talk about a little bit of history:
In the first decade of the 21st century, providers decided to bring sales companies into their dealings and allow them to partially fund these cash advances. They call this activity “syndication.” It quickly became obvious that syndication was a good move because providers found that having brokers vet their merchants beforehand led to higher quality deals that were less likely to default. The broker is there to make sure the deal goes through properly, and normally he will take care of the customer very well because his own money is on the line. Brokers helped create a long-term relationship between merchants and providers. This helped funders to potentially make more money.
Originally, syndication wasn't as common, and only a few providers allowed it. Nowadays, many companies use sales organizations in this way. When you're new in this business, put your energy into finding a good provider which will allow you to put your own money on the line.
Strategies for Making Good Money Selling Merchant Cash Advances
Let's look at some concrete numbers so that you can get a feel for how you can make money in this industry. Keep these rough stats in mind:
So now let's play with some numbers and come to a few conclusions:
From Commissions: If you fund 100 deals, with an average commission of $3,000 per deal, you can expect to earn $300,000.
Rolling Your Commissions Into the Deal: If you fund 100 deals, with an average commission of $3,000, multiplied by a factor of 1.39, then you can expect $417,000.
Co-funding: If you co-fund 100 deals of a total amount of $2,000,000 from your own pocket, multiplied by 1.39, then subtract the original $2,000,000, then you are left with $780,000.
Add to that an average commission of $1,500 for 100 deals, and you also have $150,000 in commission.
Total = $930,000.
You can make substantial money even when you're not taking on all of the risk. In the last example above, you only funded half of the deal with your own money, but you still made some money on both sides—commission for the 50% that you did not fund and a good ROI on the half that you did.
So you don't have to give up the idea of commissions altogether. Providers that allow you to fund part of the deal will also allow you to collect commission. This is the smart way to make money in this business, because as you can clearly see, you stand to make many times more than if you relied on just commission alone. This is a great way to grow your business even if you're not acquiring many new customers.
Sunday, May 24 2020
Merchant services are quickly becoming the hottest field in the technology and commerce industry as more and more businesses realize the importance of having a robust and functional payments solution that works well for their business. As a new agent or ISO in this space, you are probably extremely excited to begin and start making a name for yourself in merchant services. If you are new to merchant services, there is some advice that you must have if you want to have success and avoid some of the errors that many must make early on. With this knowledge in hand, you'll be a step ahead of the competition and well-poised to earn a good income as a merchant services agent.
This rundown of who you should sell to and how will give you knowledge that has been passed down from many merchant services agents in the hope that new merchant services agent will follow the advice and make the industry a better place to work. The earnings potential for a merchant services agent is high, but you can raise the bar even higher if you follow these actionable tips that will show you exactly how to interact with businesses and which businesses you should be reaching out to.
One of the most important skills that you are going to learn when you are a merchant services agent is which businesses need your services that you should target. However, an equally important skill is to learn which ones you shouldn’t even bother talking to at the moment. Knowing which businesses to target could get you some nice results, but knowing which ones to wait on could be the accounts that end up feeding you residual income for life. That’s because these businesses are often larger and more established than the typical startup small shop that you might target right out of the gate.
One way to know if you should not even bother with a business is if you walk into the business and you see a POS system. Unlike a standard terminal, these are complicated systems that are difficult for the beginner agent to comprehend and speak knowledgeably about. Typically, these belong to businesses that have been around for a while and if you even get a meeting with them, they are going to want references. You likely won’t be able to provide them with any, since you are just starting out. They also will want you to understand their current system, which you probably don’t, because again, you are new. Once these things happen, you can pretty much forget about this sale forever.
However, if you make a list of these businesses and target them at a time that you are more established on the business and can actually guide them, then you might have found yourself a client for life. So, don’t waste your time and resources going for a big client like this right out of the gate. Get your feet wet with some smaller clients and come back to these ones later.
If you are just starting out, then you might be tempted to track down a friend or family member that has a business that operates out of state or online and try to sell them on a merchant services package. This is not recommended. Not only because you should never mix business and family, but also because walking these types of businesses through the setup process is much more difficult and requires much more attention and care. Failure to complete the setup process could prove disastrous for your relationship and your confidence. Don’t try to set up these businesses with a merchant services contract unless they are local. It will save you time, money, and hassle.
When you think of being a merchant service agent, you might think of the traditional method of reeling in clients like cold calls and cold emails. However, the world has changed since credit card processing first came out and there are new ways to build relationships. One of the best ways to do this is by always networking. Networking is a valuable skill to learn and it can be done in a variety of ways. Networking could mean that you simply start meeting and talking with the people in your professional circle about whether they know any businesses that need to evaluate their merchant services needs. It could mean speaking with past clients about any business colleagues they have that have merchant services needs.
One of the most popular ways to network for new business connections in the modern world is to join professional apps and platforms such as LinkedIn. With these platforms, you’ll be able to find business owners and managers in your area that could need merchant services or might be interested in what you have to say. If you are going to be successful in being a merchant services agent, then you need to establish a consistent pipeline from a variety of sources that makes it easy to continue bringing in the customers without having to rely completely on cold-calling and cold emailing. Building a network through online or in-person networking can help to establish this for you.
Though you might be eager to make any sale that you can get your hands on, sometimes it really is better to take the cautious approach. Just like clients are selective in who they partner with to handle their processing, you also should be selective of the client that you work with. There are many industries that you might not want to touch or simply are a bad fit for what you offer as a merchant services agent. There is such a thing as a bad fit in this industry, and you would be well-served to recognize it before it happens because it just creates more hassle than the short-lived sale will be worth.
As a merchant services agent, you need to be able to know when it is best to walk away from a potential deal due to compatibility issues between you and the client. One example of a business that you should avoid is anyone that is doing all online sales. Most merchant services solutions are just not designed to handle these transactions well and you should avoid them.
One of the most important things that you can do as a merchant services agent is trying to evaluate and estimate the profit that you'll be making from the sale before you actually commit to it. Too many young merchant services reps are too eager to get started that they lose sight of the risk to reward ratio and don't track the time that they will actually be spending on the setup, support, and other time commitments that it takes to onboard and maintain a merchant.
If you have an account that is only making you $25/month, then you probably already know that it’s just not worth the hassle for that small amount of residual income. For many merchant services agents, it is advised that you walk away from any deal that makes less than $30/month. We know that it’s difficult to walk away from any amount of money, but the time that you spend maintaining that account could be much better spent on landing a client that could bring in hundreds of dollars per month.
If you’ve been trying to make a sale for a while or you want to get out to a fast start, you might be very tempted to make some very bold pricing promises to your client to get them to sign on. You are encouraged to help make them feel more comfortable, but you should be careful with what you offer to close a sale. While you can estimate all you want, you will never truly know how much a merchant services contract for any particular business is going to bring in. You don’t want to spend more than 6 months of the profit from an account to close it, and you should always estimate on the very conservative side.
Even if you are desperate for a sale, you should always be very cautious in offering discounts because it could cause you to lose all profit that you make on the sale. In addition, your client might expect these large discounts every time they purchase going forward. That isn’t a precedent that you want to set.
Saturday, May 23 2020
Running a liquor store can be complicated, with all the licensing requirements and other red tape that you frequently have to deal with. You know what doesn't have to be complicated, though? Your point of sale system. There's no reason to make life more annoying when nowadays there are POS solutions that can track your sales, track your inventory, and handle all of your cashless transactions for very small monthly fees and often no upfront costs for the hardware. Many of these systems also mirror your data on the cloud, so that you can access all of your records remotely without a hitch. Imagine being able to print receipts anywhere or examine your sales numbers while you're sitting on the beach somewhere and your business is trucking along without you.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself: “There are so many choices. Which POS is best for my liquor store?” If you're just starting out or even just looking to reorganize, you can't really go wrong with the all-in-one POS system. This is a POS with many features that work well for liquor stores, and in fact this company offers software that specifically caters to a variety of niche businesses, including wine and spirits. Let's take a look at some of the major benefits:
1) Tracking and Analytics: You need to keep track of what's going on in your business, or else you will never see the sort of margins that you are looking for. Selling spirits can be a very competitive business, so you always want to be checking up on what sells best in order to increase your ROI. The all-in-one POS system allows you to remotely access all of your information, so even if you have to go away for awhile, you can keep on top of the numbers. Another problem that you may face while running a liquor store is keeping track of all of the inventory. There are many different brands and varieties that you will have to keep an eye on, and this is hard to do manually. By letting a POS handle this, you will be able to know ahead of time when you are running out of key inventory so that you don't have to miss out on valuable sales. In addition, this allows you to keep an eye on what is flying off the shelves more quickly, so you can concentrate on your bestsellers more.
2) Customization: Every business has different needs, and liquor stores will vary by local tastes and regulation. You need to be able to customize the interface of your POS to suit your needs, and this is one of the places where the all-in-one POS system really shines. You can switch things around very easily and intuitively so that you or your employees can always find what you are looking for. For example, if you want to save time, you can choose to display your best-selling products prominently on the interface. The all-in-one POS system will cater to your specific needs, and they have many different software packages to offer that will make your POS's interface suit your business better. You can choose their custom liquor store software and this will make things a lot easier for you.
3) Hardware: The all-in-one POS system really delivers when it comes to hardware, since the processor used in this system is blazing fast. Don't make your customers wait more than they have to; get a POS that will work its magic not only quickly, but reliably. You don't want slow-downs and break-downs to throw a wrench into your business and frustrate the people who are keeping it alive. In addition, the all-in-one POS system is a real winner when it comes to storage capacity. Though all of your data is backed up on the cloud, you can expect to be able to hold tons of records locally, so you will always have access to the information that you need, even if your Internet decides to cut out.
4) Support: North American Bancard is known for their 24/7 support, and they are a very attentive company to work with. You don't have to worry about being left with a mess should anything go wrong—and things will occasionally go wrong whenever you are running a business. They guarantee their products as well, and will replace them if they ever break; it's nice to not have to come out of pocket for a hardware failure or a similar issue.
As you can see, the all-in-one POS system is a top-of-the-line machine. It is North American Bancard's best POS and can be customized to suit a number of different business styles, while still having extremely powerful hardware that will help you ring up your orders as fast as your employees can take them.
Now, maybe you're not ready for the “big leagues” yet, and are looking for something a little less fancy for your small business. This is totally understandable, and it's why North American Bancard offers the PayAnywhere POS, a POS system that is perfect for those who need something bare-bones, but still powerful. Best of all, the analytics are still there, the support is still there, and you can customize the interface of your POS as well. It's also available for a very small monthly fee, so you don't have to worry about upfront costs cutting into your early profits, and you can reinvest all of those savings right back into your business. You can always upgrade to the all-in-one POS system later if you find that you've outgrown the PayAnywhere POS.
There are a lot of things to consider when getting a POS for your liquor store, but the all-in-one POS system is a great choice, if for no other reason than its liquor-store specific software package. It doesn't hurt that the hardware is top-notch and that the support is constant, too. When you're looking for a POS, you want something that's not going to add needless complication, but which will instead simplify your business and make it easier to keep track of your affairs. Regardless of what stage your business is in, North American Bancard has a POS solution that will probably fit your needs.
Saturday, May 23 2020
As a florist, it's your job to make people happy, and to help them express their emotions on special occasions. With all that you do to maintain your inventory and to keep your customer base satisfied, you probably don't want to be distracted by the technical issues of a POS. Who would blame you? Your mission is to sell flowers; why make it more complicated than that?
It is precisely because of this that giving some deep thought to the kind of POS that you want to buy is worth it. If you make the wrong choice for you, it could end up complicating your business needlessly and causing you a lot of headaches. You want something that will make your business easier to run, after all. Naturally, there are many different kinds of POS systems that you might choose from, and there are some great, useful choices on the market, especially considering how well technology has advanced over even the past few years. One good company from which to consider getting your POS is North American Bancard. They have a lot of great choices and customization options, and you will probably find a solution from them that will work for your business. As a florist, you will have some unique inventory and analytics issues, since what you sell is alive and particularly perishable, and you may have a delivery side to your business, so you need a POS that can be fully adapted to your situation; North American Bancard offers that.
Depending on the size of your business—whether it is only just emerging from the woodwork, or whether you've been around for awhile and you are just ready for an upgrade—you will want to approach a different solution. There are two main options here:
This POS is a great value, especially if your business is just getting started and you don't have a huge amount of capital to pay for a larger, more complex POS. All you need is to just get the money from the customer—be it cash, credit, or just about anything else—and keep some thorough records of all of your transactions and inventory. The PayAnwhere POS is a great choice if this is the case for you: It is simple, yet it fulfills all of the important functions of a POS. In addition, it provides a lot of customization features that you may not find in other point of sale systems of its class: You can alter the GUI quite a bit, even deleting or moving around elements on your home screen. You choose how simple or complex you would like your interface to be.
If you find that you're having trouble, North American Bancard has great support anyway, and they will give you and your employees training material from the beginning so that you can get to know your system. Chances are, you won't have much trouble with this, since it's so intuitive, but if you do, they are only a phone call away and you can contact them 24 hours a day.
By the way, even in its simplicity, the PayAnwhere POS offers thorough reporting on your sales and inventory, and on the trends regarding these. When you're a new or smaller business and are looking to grow, this is when analytics is most important, so you will definitely want a POS that can handle this. Even better, your reporting is not only stored on your physical machine, it is also stored on the cloud, so you have access to it anytime—even when you're away from your location. This is a natural and automatic backup system, so you don't have to worry about dealing with a nightmare of lost records if your POS has any hardware failures.
Speaking of hardware failures, North American Bancard has you covered if anything happens to your POS, and they will replace it for free.
A little further up on the totem pole is the all-in-one POS system, and this can help you to really expand your business with all of its customization options. It offers more capacity, better hardware, and more specialized software than the all-in-one POS system. If your flowers are selling every which way and your florist business is expanding like the blooming petals of a rose, you are going to need a POS that will keep up with this growth.
If you're also in the business of flower delivery, the all-in-one POS system is particularly suited for your purposes. One of its great software packages is geared specifically towards delivery businesses, and includes a lot of added functions over the default POS interface, such as:
- Delivery driver tracking: You can keep track of the various trips that your delivery employees need to make, and even remotely assign them their tasks.
- Integrated caller ID system: If a customer calls you, a convenient display will pop up, telling you everything on file about the customer. Don't leave it up to guesswork; keep a detailed history of your best customers so that you'll know how to serve them better. A stable business is built upon repeat, loyal customers.
- Discounts and promo codes: Part of getting your customers to come back is to be as enticing as possible, and nothing is as enticing as a good deal. Reward your good clients with some sort of customer loyalty program, or simply give people coupons or promo codes to get them to try out your flowers. To be able to do all of this, you're going to want a POS that makes it easy to apply promotions to orders, and the Elite handles this like a champ.
One of the best things about both of these systems, though, is the cost: They are available for a monthly fee that is tiny compared to what you will save in time and logistics. You need a system that will take care of both the tasks of a cash register as well as the record-keeping responsibilities. Take a look at your business and analyze its needs, and you will probably find a North American Bancard POS that fits right in with your mission.
Saturday, May 23 2020
For a lot of people, being self-employed is their ultimate dream. They'd love to throw off the shackles of the office and travel around serving people who share their passion for whatever it is that they're selling. Of course, it helps if what you are selling is part of a booming business, and the food industry is certainly growing. While other markets contracted during recent recessions, both the restaurant and the food truck business have seen a rise in sales, as people have become more and more interested in convenience. This is a great time to be in the business of food trucks!
So, chances are, if you've just started a food truck business, the sales have been rolling in more or less steadily. Hungry customers are flocking around your mobile restaurant, eager to sample your dishes in the middle of whichever random parking lot you're serving today. You hand them the food, and they hand you cold, hard wads of cash in return...except when they don't.
“Oh, I'm sorry,” says one of your customers, her tone apologetic, if a bit nasally. “Do you take cards?”
That is the question, isn't it? Well, do you? Nowadays, cashless is the way, and if you're only relying on the old locked metal cash box with a couple of rolls of coins thrown in, you're probably missing out on a lot of potential sales. Yes, you can just get an old school stand-alone credit card machine and try to keep track of a million sheets of receipt paper (“Merchant's Copy!”) like they did back in the days when people need to swipe their little magnetic strips—but things are a lot different now, and in the complicated society that we live in, you're going to want a point of sale (POS) system to keep track of sales—both cash and electronic—and to give you some idea of what kind of inventory you used up. The more volume you expect to sell, the more urgent it is to have a POS.
Now, maybe all of the dirty specifics are what have you procrastinating and leaving that old school “cash only” sign outside your window. Maybe you're just confused. Maybe you don't know which POS to choose for your business. Luckily for you, we're about to clarify things a little; let's take a look at the best POS systems, what they can do, and whether they might work for your business:
1) Square: This is the most bare-bones, simple solution if you're looking for the function of a POS without having to learn a complicated interface or pay a huge monthly fee. In fact, Square does not charge a monthly fee at all, and instead takes a small percentage of your revenue. It requires minimal hardware as well, and all you need is a small peripheral that you attach to your smart phone, and from there you can use the Square app to take people's credit card payments. This simplicity and low upfront cost is probably why Square is so popular with people who sell food out of trucks or carts. It requires hardly any capital at all to get started.
Though it is an excellent payment processor that is very inexpensive for those who are just starting, keep in mind that it is extremely basic on the POS side of things. It will calculate tax and other factors, keep track of sales, and offer a few nice stats to look at here and there, it is not as extensive as other systems. If you want something more complex and feature-rich, you may want to look elsewhere.
2) Revel: If you're looking for something that offers better analytics and that can be used to track your inventory as well, you might want to look into Revel. Built specifically with the restaurant business in mind, it won't cost you too much to set it up for a single terminal, and it has a lot of features that other POS systems don't have. For example, it integrates with social media and can be set up to notify your followers of where you are so that they can come find you. In addition, it's a very flexible kind of software that doesn't require any sort of proprietary equipment to use; most kinds of cash registers will do just fine. It may not be the cheapest POS system around, but it is a very high quality choice with a lot of extras.
3) ShopKeep: If you're looking for value, ShopKeep has it. It's not as cheap as Square, but for the amount of functionality it offers as a fully-functioning POS, you can't really find anything on the market that will beat it. It has everything: The ability to modify tax rates depending on where you are, the ability to print and edit receipts, the ability to create gift cards, among many other features. You can also use it to track your inventory, as you can with Revel, and much of your information is stored on the company's own servers, so you don't need to be tied to a specific machine to view your stats. They're a bit more picky about hardware than Revel, but luckily it can easily integrate with iOS, so that may not actually end up being a problem for you.
Another nice feature of ShopKeep is that it doesn't require you to be constantly connected to the Internet, which is great during those times when you're either far away from WiFi or when your 4G Internet cuts out. Once you are connected again, it simply syncs as you would expect.
Now that you have a basic understanding of three of the most popular POS systems for food trucks, hopefully you can move forward and make an informed decision about what sort of set up is right for you. Sometimes it's best to start small and work your way into a more complex system, but of course this depends on what your goals are as well. Good luck!
Friday, May 22 2020
Imagine someone who is running a business in a field that many consider to be “dubious” or risky, such as tobacco sales, debt collection, adult entertainment, gambling, or even travel and time shares. They may seem like everyday staples of a free market, but many payment processors won't touch these kinds of merchants with a ten-foot poll. They are known as “high risk.” A business like this might find that it is unusually hard to get a merchant account, but they still need to be able to take people's money and perform cashless transactions just like anybody else. Where do they turn when no one seems to want to work with them?
This is where you come in. One strategy that you can take as a merchant services sales agent is to find a partner that allows you to cater to these high risk groups that might have a hard time attaining processing services for reasonable rates. You can even focus on this niche exclusively and strike some very lucrative deals because these higher risk businesses are usually willing to pay more. Many times, businesses like these may also have a high sales volume, which can make you a lot of money in residuals over time, even if you might have to take a smaller cut.
Before we take a look at the benefits, though, let's define what a “high risk” business is, and why a credit card company might consider them to be a risky prospect. In this context, a high risk business often falls into one of these categories:
- The business deals in goods of high price, where each individual transaction is hundreds or thousands of dollars. Some businesses just sell expensive items, and the added risk of charge-back means that credit card companies are less excited to work with them.
- The business sells goods or services to customers in certain high-risk countries. Sure, not everyone in these countries is a scammer, but if a particular territory is known to breed fraudsters, then companies aren't going to be keen on working with them.
- The business uses dubious sales practices, such as employing high-pressure sales tactics to sell people things that they don't really need or want; e.g. time shares, travel packages. There is a huge problem here with charge-backs if your customers are likely to have buyer's remorse.
- The business deals in what some consider morally questionable goods and services. Again, as with businesses in certain physical territories, credit card companies like to avoid businesses that reside in certain moral territories. You might find that gambling businesses, strip bars, or cigar shops fall into these categories—basically, anything that deals in the vices.
- The business performs transactions where the physical card isn't present. Basically, this takes a lot of ecommerce businesses out of the running for low-risk accounts. A lot of credit card fraud can take place online, and of course the charge-backs that result from fraudulent transactions can be costly.
Now you might realize that it all really comes down to charge-backs. If the processor believes that there's a non-trivial chance that the activities of the business will result in a lot of charge-backs, or that the merchant may not fulfill their responsibility to pay for the charge-backs, then it may be considered high risk. Many processors will not deal with high risk merchant accounts at all, and in fact merchants in high risk businesses may have to work with specialized processors, and they may even have to set up their merchant accounts with over-seas companies.
There is certainly a hungry niche here, and you might do well to serve it. Many businesses have a hard time securing a merchant account, and you can make things a little easier for them by providing high risk merchant accounts. Here are some of the benefits of dealing in this sector:
- Less competition. Other merchant services companies or merchant services sales agents may be (understandably) hesitant to work with these companies, so you might be able to pick up the slack. Yes, these accounts are riskier, but sometimes the risk can be worth the reward. Merchant service providers can mitigate some of that risk as well by raising their transaction costs or requiring a deposit.
- Online sales are booming. People are buying goods online more than ever, and that means that someone is going to have to provide all of these online retail businesses with merchant accounts. Why not get into a niche that is explosively growing? You will never be in want of merchants to turn into your customers.
- Many high risk businesses are also very lucrative. If your clients are making a lot of sales, then you are getting a piece of that pie. This is especially true for businesses that sell people what are considered vices. As much as society may look down on these businesses, they also love to buy from them.
- You can cater to all business types with few limits. If you only sell merchant services to low-risk businesses, then you cut out many potential niches that you could work in. By specifically offering high risk merchant accounts, you open yourself up to just about any business that you want to work with. Never turn away another merchant simply because they don't fit the narrow definition of what a low-risk account entails. As with anything in business, of course, there are risks as well as benefits—that's why they call these high risk accounts. As a sales agent, you wouldn't be responsible for charge-backs, but you might be faced with making a smaller cut in terms of both residuals and any upfront payments for each merchant account that you sell. This is natural considering that the processor will have to more likely deal with charge-backs, so their fees will be on the expensive side. Still, by finding a partner that will allow you to take high risk merchants, you can add a more diverse variety of merchants to your portfolio, which will make your business more well-rounded.
Download PDF: High Risk Merchant Services for Agents and ISO's
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Thursday, May 21 2020
Are you looking for a good merchant services affiliate program with a merchant services company? Becoming an affiliate means that you can help promote the great products and services at Shaw Merchant Group and receive a commission for what you help us earn from each lead. If you already have a popular website or other platform, then affiliate marketing may be a great way to monetize your audience.
We're as dedicated to our affiliates as we are to our agents, so we won't just give you an affiliate link and send you on your way; we offer tools that can help you attain true success. So why not give your customers exactly what they need—a great merchant account solution—while earning money in the process?
Why is Shaw Merchant Group a great partner for your affiliate marketing venture?
Why not sign up today? Signing up with us is free, so you have nothing to lose when you add Shaw Merchant Group to your arsenal of merchant services affiliate partners. We provide tons of analytics and accurate reporting of your conversions, and we pay you on time every month. Get into contact with us and start helping your audience by helping us sell our quality products.
Download PDF: Best Merchant Services Affiliate Program
Monday, May 18 2020
Are you interested in becoming an merchant services ISO? Simply attain a minimum amount of sales for three months and we will help you out by sponsoring you and saving you the ten thousands dollars in upfront costs. We'll take care of what you need by giving you a merchant statement, a free terminal program to pass on to your clients, customer support, and all the software that you need to overlook your back-end. Allow us to help you get on track to becoming a full ISO! If you sign up for our program, you will have access to many benefits, including:
Sunday, May 17 2020
If you're running a pizzeria, you have some unique needs that few other businesses have. For one, it's generally assumed that you offer deliveries, and another added complications is that your product is highly customizable, so you probably need a lot of diverse inventory to satisfy the demands of your customers. If your pizza shop is relatively new, you might be tempted to go with a cheap, bare-bones POS, or even an old-school cash register with a stand-alone credit card machine, if you don't mind stapling receipts all day and dealing with a mountain of paperwork when the time comes to work on your books.
Maybe you'd rather have a more modern, 21st-century set-up, but you still want to go the cheap route, so you might go with one of the popular minimalistic, not-quite-POS systems such as Square, but the fact of the matter is that if you are running a serious business with a serious potential for growth, you want a real POS that offers everything you will need. The integration of sales data, inventory data, employee hours, and many other analytics is itself hugely efficient and will save you a lot of time and money. Growing businesses can become of paperwork nightmare if one doesn't have a handle on these organizational issues from the beginning, and one of the best ways to stay organized is to have a POS that handles all of your data.
There are lots of POS systems that you can look at out there, but the best by far for a pizza shop that is experiencing growth or that just needs an upgrade is the Harbortouch Elite. There are many benefits to this POS over solutions like Square or even other POSes that cater to roughly the same market. Here is a quick overview of some of these time-saving, money-saving features:
It Fits Your Business
One of the great things about the all-in-one POS system is its customizable interface. You can switch around the elements of the GUI to your heart's content, and all of the icons on its responsive touch interface can be exactly as you need it to be. You can even remove elements for a less busy, less confusing home screen if you find the need.
Best of all, the all-in-one POS system's software can come with various customizations right from the get-go. For example, there is a package specifically for delivery-centric restaurants such as pizza places. Send North American Bancard your menu, and they will customize the POS interface for you, so that you can get back to making pizzas instead of fiddling with your new technology. It is an extremely intuitive device, and NAB makes every effort to help it fit you and your business as seamlessly as possible.
One of the complications of owning a delivery-based business is having to deal with managing the time and the tasks of your various drivers, as well as keeping track of where they are and where they need to go for their next delivery. The all-in-one POS system can be customized for quick service and delivery businesses like your pizza shop, and this package comes with a host of tools to help you deliver more efficiently, such as:
Mapping – The system comes with an integrated map system for honing in on where your deliveries need to go. The directions can also be printed easily, and in fact you can print them out right on the receipt paper for your drivers to use. This feature also supports multiple stops in a single trip. It's never been more convenient to find where you need to go.
Managing Your Drivers – Give orders to each driver from your dashboard, and keep track of the status of each delivery right from your POS.
Caller ID – Why should your own customers be a mystery to you? Get a handle on who is on the other end of the line with integrated caller ID, which will allow you to keep better track of who is calling your business and placing the orders. When a customer calls, you will be able to automatically view their data and a history of their past orders to give you more context.
The Usual Restaurant Favorites
In addition to these specialized features just for quick service restaurants like pizzerias, the all-in-one POS system offers the kind of features that you would expect for other kinds of restaurant businesses. Some of these functions include:
Bar Tabs – If you happen to sell alcohol at your location, the all-in-one POS system makes it much easier to keep a running tab for your customers. People who run tabs usually spend more, so this is definitely a handy feature.
Edit Your Menu – You want to be able to change your menu at the drop of a hat, without having to learn any fancy technical skills. Thankfully, with the Elite's intuitive interface, you can change your menu whenever you want with very little hassle.
Give Discounts – Some of the best promotional strategies include giving your customers coupons and discounts, so you're going to want a POS that can handle this side of things as well. The all-in-one POS system can apply coupons and various other kinds of discounts instantly.
Keep Track of Customers – Analytics about your customers is just as important as analytics concerning the workings of your business. Keep a database on all of your guests, and this will not only help you to identify wider sales trends, but it will allow you to give personalized service, as you can keep track of people's order history and their contact information.
As you can see, the all-in-one POS system is a very feature-rich POS, with lots of support and a surprising amount of customizability. One of the best features, however, is its affordability. You can have fast hardware and great service of a superior level for a low monthly fee and few upfront costs; it pays for itself quite quickly in terms of saved time and money. It really is the perfect POS for a growing pizza shop that is looking to get as organized and efficient as possible.
Saturday, May 16 2020
If you run a bicycle shop, you need a versatile and light-weight POS that is as efficient as the man-powered vehicles that you sell. You are going to need to keep track of your inventory, including dozens of parts if you deal in repairs; you're going to need to keep track of sales; and you're going to want to stay ahead of the curve and get a birds-eye-view of all of the processes of your business as well. One way to handle all of these complex details and have all of the analytics that you need right at your fingertips is to employ a simple, high-performance POS like the all-in-one POS system. This is one of the most advanced point of sale systems that you can get for the money, and it is fast, efficient, and high-end both in the realm of software and in the realm of hardware. Let's take a closer look at the different ways that this set-up can benefit your bicycle shop:
Cash and Cashless
Need something completely integrated and easy-to-use that can handle all sorts of transactions? The all-in-one POS system can deal in cash, as well as debit cards, credit cards, and even checks—and it can do it all in one integrated system. Even if you are a relatively small operation still, there's no need to disappoint your customers by not being able to handle the kind of transaction they need when you can simply use a POS such as the all-in-one POS system .
Analytics and Reporting
One of the best things about any our POS systems, but especially the all-in-one POS system is how it simplifies and organizes all of the intricate data of your business into very easy-to-read reports. You can access these reports from anywhere, since they are stored locally on your resident machine, as well as on the cloud. Work remotely and keep a handle on the processes of your business even when there is physical distance between you and your employees, and you'll be able to catch and analyze any potential issues before they become problems. You can also keep an eye on sales trends and other data that might help you to make your bike shop more efficient.
Having these sorts of features can save you a fortune on bookkeeping; whenever you need a certain set of data, it's as easy as simply printing it out from the database. Don't worry if your Internet is down, either; thanks to the all-in-one POS system large storage capabilities, you have plenty of room for local files and they will be easily accessible even in the event of an Internet outage.
You can customize the software's interface and other features to suit the needs of your particular business. This is a huge advantage, especially when you are running a specialty shop like a bike store. Rather than go with a one-size-fits-all POS, you can build your point of sale system around you and your employees, and this will save you a lot of time.
Time Keeping your employees clock-ins organized is a task in and of itself, and the all-in-one POS system this beautifully. It's important to keep an accurate—and ideally digital—record of when your employees work in order to keep your payroll costs from being unnecessarily exorbitant. In addition, the system keeps the cost of record-keeping itself rather low.
The all-in-one POS system has top-of-the-line hardware for a POS, especially for the cost, which makes it a great value. Don't sit there waiting for your system to respond to all of your frustrated button-mashing; get an all-in-one POS system and you'll have some speedy hardware and ultra-responsive software. Your customers will appreciate the quick checkout process, just as you'll appreciate the efficiency. Another nice thing about the all-in-one POS system's form factor is that it is essentially an all-in-one machine, so it takes up very little space. You don't have to make room for a clunky desktop tower or any of those other archaic pieces of hardware, so you can save quite a lot of counter space. It has a very sleek look that would fit in great at any modern, urban bicycle shop.
One of the great features of the all-in-one POS system is its intuitive touch interface. If you know how to use a tablet computer, then chances are you'll have no problem working with this POS. As mentioned before, this interface is customizable, so no matter what kind of business you have or what stage of growth you're in, you can make this POS match your needs perfectly. In addition, as you business grows larger, you can change the interface to suit your needs, so you won't have to worry dealing with a POS that no longer accommodates you.
You are too busy trying to get people back on the road (or sidewalk, or bike lane, or nature trail) to deal with technical difficulties when it comes to your POS, so the last thing you want to do is to have to tinker with your system when there's a problem. Though the all-in-one POS system is quite robust, chaos exists in the universe, and there are always going to be the occasional hiccups; it's just unrealistic to not expect this to some extent. During those kinds of moments, you don't want a company that's going to leave you to your own doom. You have stuff to do, and you need to get going again immediately, so North American Bancard offers 24/7 support for their all-in-one POS system, as well as for their other systems.
While getting set up and keeping things running is usually intuitive enough to not require any intervention on their part, it's nice to know that they're there if you ever need them.
You opened your bike shop to help get your customers moving; a all-in-one POS system will help get your business moving faster, more efficiently, and with the kind of reporting and analytics that you need. If you want a POS that has everything—and includes all of the support you will ever want—give the all-in-one POS system a try.
Saturday, May 16 2020
Running a pawn shop can present many challenges, since, unlike most retail stores, you need to plan and organize not only some kind of process for selling, but also for buying items from clients. In addition, depending on where you live, there can be a certain amount of extra bureaucracy associated with running a pawn shop that you may not find in other kinds of storefronts. For example, you may need to take records of the people who sell you items and keep identification information on them just in case the items they were selling you had some kind of shady past.
On top of this, you're also going to have to keep records on your inventory, and again this will work a bit differently from most retail stores, because rather than having a fairly predictable flow of items, you will have to work to tag and categorize random items of value as they come in. One could say that this is the fun in having a pawn shop—you never know what will come through your doors—but it can certainly present some record-keeping challenges.
Of course, as with just about anything nowadays, this doesn't have to be too much of a problem because there's technology that will help you out. If you're running a pawn shop, it's critical to have the right POS system that will help to organize your inventory, keep track of your sales, help organize your records, and of course take your customer's money. If you're still unsure about what brand of POS you should go for, take a look at some of these options below:
1) SimpleConsign - One thing that you can do is seek out POS systems that specific cater to consignment-centric businesses. That's why SimpleConsign can work very well—it allows you to not only sell items, but to list them for consignment, as well as buy them from your customer outright. Like most POS systems, it can also of course handle credit card processing, returns, and the application of discounts if the need arises. You can also put items in layaway using this system, if you wish to provide that functionality to your customers.
Probably one of the most interesting functions that you may not find in other POS setups is the customer-side consignment feature. Basically, if a customer is selling something via consignment through your store, he can go on the Internet and look up the status of the item and how much you owe him.
This POS can be had for a fairly inexpensive monthly fee, and there's even a free trail available so that you can give it a try for 15 to see if it's for you.
2) PawnMaster - This POS system by Data Age is exactly what it sounds like. It's software solution to all of your pawn shop's needs and it was created specifically with this kind of business in mind. It is Windows-based and thus can run on x86 machines with the right specs, and this may or may not be appealing to you, but one of its main draws is that it is so scalable. As your business grows, you can add different software modules when needed, for example a layaway function or the ability to manage several stores.
Currently, they offer PawnMaster Classic as their main solution, which is not cloud-based; but if you're looking for the convenience and data-security of a cloud-based system, they are set to launch PawnMaster Ignite in the near future, which uses Amazon Web Services to provide flexibility and other features.
This is one of the most popular software packages for pawn shop owners, and regardless of what solution you choose from them, they offer exactly what you need to start your shop: inventory management, a way to take your customer's money, a way to buy from your customer, consignment functionality, a quick price guide that you can look up, employee management software like a time clock, integrated jewelry scales, and many other features.
3) Bravo Pawn Systems - Do you want cloud-based software so that you don't have to deal with the IT costs of having complex POS software and hardware that you have to service yourself? Bravo Pawn Systems is a new generation of POS built specifically to make things simple and easy in this regard. Whether you have a small, medium, or large pawn broker business, they have a solution that will work for you. Since all of your data is store securely in their servers, you don't have to worry about losing your records, either.
In addition, it includes many features that help you to organize and run your business. It will allow you to closely manage your employees and will also help you to keep them accountable by keeping track of when transactions occurred and who performed them. As you might expect, it also allows you to take your customers credit cards, issue refunds, and keep track of your sales numbers using a simple reporting mechanism. You can also keep digital files on your customers' histories so that you can better serve them in the future. On their end, they can sign in to view the status of their loans with you online, which will save both of you a lot of time.
Where it really shines is on the inventory end of things. You can use the software to create bar-codes to organize your items, mark down prices, and even transfer items between your stores if you have more than one. This really is a full-featured pawn shop solution.
As you might realize, you have a lot of options when it comes to POS software for your store. When you're looking for which POS is right for you, be sure to consider your priorities. For example, larger stores may need solutions that are superior at handling inventory concerns in order to keep things organized. Try to think about your future needs as well, even if you are still small, since switching over to a different system can certainly be a pain, and it's good to avoid it if you can.
Saturday, May 16 2020
For retail businesses, particularly restaurants, cafes, and diners, the benefits of having a point of sale (POS) system available create a number of benefits that will boost your bottom line. The point of sale systems for Android devices in particular is certainly worth considering for your business needs.
What is an Android POS System?
The system itself is representative of most POS products in that it consists of having the software, hardware, and payment processing services all rolled up into one device. However, this particular system for Android devices does offer advantages for many businesses who want to incorporate a more efficient sales process.
Hardware Requirements: The good news here is that you can choose from a number of different brands and models that all use the Android operating system. This means that you can start with a single smartphone or tablet and work your way up to a multiple user, multiple location system that is perfect for large retail businesses and restaurants. You can take advantage of recommended accessories such as card readers, payment terminals, barcode scanners, menu displays and more that can come from the same company or from third party sources that offer compatible products. There are even POS companies that offer entire systems that you can use which have advantages as well as disadvantages, but may be well suited for your particular needs.
Software: The heart of the system, the POS software creates the invoices, inventory, sales reports, and manages all of the customer data so you can see all the important aspects of selling. It is important to remember that most POS software still requires a processor for credit or debit card payments. From which products, services, or menu items are the most popular overall, when they sell the most, and what they are purchased with, you can better understand how your business is making a profit and what you can do to increase your earnings.
Processing Credit Cards: It seems that practically everyone enjoys the convenience of using a credit or debit card to make payments. The point of sales system for Android does require a card reader either directly attached or from a separate terminal that is connected in order to work. It should be noted that you will need an EMV chip card reader to protect your business or restaurant from being hit with charges that are fraudulent as well as being liable. The good news is that most, if not all new card readers that are being sold have the EMV chip already installed.
It should be noted that as part of the POS system, you will be paying rates that are dependent on the credit card chosen. Some such as PayPal for example offer a flat rate which may be a little higher than some competitors, but is generally simple to use, predictable, and has very high rates of approval which means less fuss for your business. Other processors may offer lower rates, but have hidden fees or charges that push up the costs. You will want to read all about the different rates and understand how they apply to your particular situation.
Advantages of Android POS System
For many businesses and in particular restaurants, the point of sale system for Android offers considerable benefits for your efforts
Versatility: The POS system does more than simply process sales as it supports the important aspects of how your business operates on a daily basis. For restaurants, a POS system that is down can make it very difficult to properly serve guests and build profits. The POS needs to be simple, easy to use, and highly reliable which is why Android systems offer a distinct advantage over iOS or Apple systems. Because Android systems are found on mobile devices from many different manufacturers, you can choose the one that emphasizes reliability to make breakdowns few and far between.
In addition, you can fine an Android mobile device that is customizable to your specific needs. Instead of having to use Apple-only products such as the iPad or iPhone, you can instead choose from a number of different manufacturers and select the device that is best suited for you want you want it to do. In essence, a restaurant that emphasizes fast service may only want a couple of POS terminals with the wait staff has handheld tablets. This is easy to do with Android devices, but more difficult with iOS or Apple devices.
Cheaper Hardware: It’s no secret that Android devices are by and large considerably less expensive than Apple devices. You should also be aware of so-called self-contained POS systems that use older, out of date hardware through exclusive devices. You can choose which Android device you want to use which means that you can take advantage of sales or special discounts that are available.
This also makes replacement costs considerably less expensive as well since Android devices are on average costs less than iPad or Apple hardware. So, if the device is lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair the replacement cost will be less than if it were an Apple device.
In fact, you may already own the smartphones or tablets that make installing the point of sale system for Android devices even simpler. There are even some services offered on Android devices that may be compatible with the POS technology such as card readers, bar code scanners, tablet stands, customer displays, scales, and so forth.
In the end, the benefits of using point of sale systems for Android are considerable and certainly worth the investment, particularly for restaurants and eating establishments where having the customer pay the bill on the spot is good for your business. The Android system in particular is one that offers advantages above and beyond what other major systems provide. Thanks to the versatility and popularity of devices that use the Android operating system, you can have a great deal of choice in selecting the specific devices used to help conduct your sales.
Saturday, May 16 2020
There are lots of reasons why building a merchant services business can be extremely lucrative, not the least of which is the fact that you can build a lasting asset (your residuals), which you can then sell. In fact, I spoke to someone in the industry today, and he was telling me all about his plan when he leaves the business and how he's planning to sell his residuals. What that conversation made me realize, though, is that lots of people underestimate the power of those residuals. The best thing you can do with this income is to use it as capital.
To be able to sell your business in the long-run, you need to make sure that you start the business the right way in the first place. There are some major things you're going to have to take into consideration so that your company is able to grow:
1) Own your portfolio's residuals. Maybe this seems very transparently obvious to you; after all, what's the point if you don't own your source of income? However, it's not uncommon that sales agents will lose their entire portfolio simply because they did not read the agreement that they made with their processor closely enough. You should always consider what might happen if you just decide to stop selling; if the answer is that you will lose your hard-earned residuals, then choose another partner.
2) Be able to sell your residuals. If you can't sell something, do you really own it, then? Sometimes processors will require you to have to consider an offer from them before selling to an outsider, and that's fine, but just make sure you are free to choose.
3) Find out if you can borrow cash against your residuals. A large ISO that isn't operating as a middle man should be able to lend you money. If they can't, this is a problem. Usually, you're going to want to exhaust several options before a buyout, and this includes borrowing.
So let's assume you have all of these issues squared away and are the proud owner of a growing portfolio of accounts. Now you can start to use that asset to raise some capital!
Before you do anything else, though, take a look at these general guidelines that will help you get a better picture of what is going on when the selling occurs:
Do you qualify? Don't bother trying to pump any cash from your portfolio before you have at least two dozen accounts or so. Make sure that your accounts are making at least $1000 every month as well. You will be hard pressed to find anyone who would want to buy residuals less than this.
Performing a buyout: When you perform an 100% upfront buyout, you'll get about 12 to 20 times the monthly worth of the accounts that you're selling. This is a rough estimate, but adjust your expectations accordingly.
Performing an earn-out: Basically, this is the same as a buyout, except you get less upfront. Some of the money is upfront, and the rest is sent to you in increments with the stipulation that your accounts don't get canceled and that they continue brining in a certain amount of money. This will yield you more than a buyout in the long run—about 20 to 24 times your monthly income.
Performing a secure buyout: Let's say you have a significantly-sized portfolio and you only want to sell some of your residuals. You can sell some of those accounts, and then use your others as collateral essentially to guarantee against any cancellations. This means less risk for the processor, so they are usually willing to pay more.
Getting a loan: Maybe you just need to borrow some liquid cash and use your residuals as a guarantee. Most ISOs can do this for you. Usually, you can borrow anywhere from a few months to up to a year's worth of residuals. The terms will vary depending on your merchant services ISO program. Since of course your ISO will be interested in minimizing risk, just show that you are using the funds to grow, and you'll have a better chance at getting the deal you want. Your ISO will also usually offer better terms than outside lenders.
Did this article help you learn more about how to turn your portfolio into a machine that pumps out capital? Do you have a portfolio that you're looking to use right now for these sorts of purposes? Contact us and we'll show you the way.
Thursday, May 14 2020
Have you just opened your new coffee shop or café business and the customers are already pouring through the doors every morning? Congratulations! You know what you need now? A decent point of sale (POS) system to go with that cash box. You may love being a traditional little café and you might even think you're too small to need any kind of fancy equipment, but as you grow you're going to be glad to have a POS. Point of sale systems can not only help you keep track of how much you made, give you helpful stats on how your sales are doing, and help facilitate credit card transactions, but they can also keep track of your inventory so that you know what kind of supplies you will need next time you go to pick up your raw ingredients. The great thing about a POS is that it will help you stay organized, and you will never have to worry about where you left your scattered pile of receipts because you can always just print a new one.
Since the last thing you want is a POS that is too complicated or that won't fit your needs, let's take a look at one of the best point of sale systems that you can use precisely for a small, brick-and-mortar business like yours:
What's so great about the PayAnywhere POS System? Well, just about everything, but there are some main features that make it perfect for a business that's just getting started or that needs to finally get organized:
- Easy to Use: Not a computer wiz? Why would you need to be? You're in the café business after all! If tech support is something you simply don't want to deal with (or pay an arm and a leg for), then this is the kind of POS you want at your restaurant. It is extremely easy to set up and includes a wizard that will do all of the heavy lifting and help you to get started. Updating can also be a hassle with most modern operating systems, but you won't have to worry about that with the PayAnywhere POS System. It takes care of the updates automatically so you don't have to fiddle with anything to get the latest security features installed.
- Customizable: Your business is unique, so the interface on your point of sale system should be, too. Luckily, the software that runs on these machines is very modular and you can add or remove elements from the screen easily at your leisure. This means that if you have a very simple menu, you don't have to suffer from an overly-busy screen if you don't want to. It also means that you can use trial and error to determine what kind of interface is most efficient for you and your employees.
- Advanced Technology: You want the most advanced software for your store, and thats exactly what this POS is running. The system is cloud-based, so you'll have the convenience of being able to keep an eye on sales and other figures whether you're at your coffee house location or need to step out to address your latest emergency. If you lose Internet access for any reason, though, don't worry: this system is still capable of storing information locally, and it will sync with the cloud as soon as you're re-connected, so you'll have the best of both worlds. This POS is also capable of taking several different payment methods, including cash, credit card, and Apple Pay, so you'll never have to lose a sale simply due to an inability to take your customer's money.
- Great Hardware Overall: This is a very modern, very sleek and well-designed POS system that you'll be proud to have sitting on your counter-top. Unlike the old, bulky registers of yore, this system is thin and easily portable, and uses and extremely intuitive touch interface. The screen even twists around to face your customer so that they can sign off during a credit transaction, and it's just as easy to read and comprehend for them as it is for your employees as it mirrors the mobile interfaces that most of your customers will already be used to. The screen is just about the size of a large tablet at over 13”, so it's certainly big enough to to comfortably use, but not so big that it takes over your counter space. Don't worry about keeping your customers waiting, either, since this system is really fast. It uses a flash storage system rather than the old style of hard drive, so all of your orders can be taken and stored quickly.
- Great Support: As mentioned, the interface is extremely easy to use, but as with any kind of technology things can certainly go wrong. If you find that you need tech support, the company will provide it 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, so you never have to worry about being caught in a tight spot because they are always there to help. Another nice aspect of their support is that if your equipment ever actually physically breaks, they will replace it for you for free.
- Low Cost: North AMerican Bancard offers a few different solutions, but the PayAnywhere POS System is the best value. It's one of their cheapest, costing only a small monthly fee (currently less than 40 dollars) to serve a small company with a few employees. Best of all, there is no upfront cost. For just a bit of pocket change practically, you can be up and running immediately, using some of the most advanced POS technology. There are many costs to not organizing your business properly, and considering how much this POS could save you in terms of time and labor, it will pay for itself many times over. So if you're looking for a POS that can serve you and your customers at your coffee shop, the PayAnywhere POS System is certainly one of the simplest, easiest, and cheapest options out there.
Tuesday, May 05 2020
If you're just starting your own business and need to keep costs down, you may be discouraged by the overhead that buying and setting up a point of sale system can represent. Not only do you have to buy the necessary hardware, but you'll have to train your employees on how to use whatever proprietary interface the system uses. This can cause a lot of headaches and cost a lot of money that you might not have to invest, especially when you're a small business on a shoestring budget.
Wouldn't it be great if, instead of all that complexity and cost, you could just use hardware that you likely already have, such as a tablet, and simply pay a small fee to run POS software on it? Wouldn't it be even better if all the peripherals that you needed to take credit card payments and such snapped easily onto this existing hardware and didn't require any complicated installation? Even better, what if you didn't have to spend time training your employees to do much more than simply learn how to use a new app on an interface that they already know and love?
Well, these aren't the mad ramblings of a business owner who wishes life worked this way; life actually can work this way! There are quite a few offerings on that market that can turn your beloved iPad into a fully-functional POS that will allow you to take your customers' cashless payments and keep track of sales for a fraction of the cost of more complex POS systems. Why make everything complicated when you can just improvise with what you have and save money?
Now, you may be wondering: What are these magical POS systems that you can install right on your iPad? Let's take a look at some of the best in the market, so that you can continue your search with a fully-informed opinion:
You may hear about this tiny POS a lot, but that's because it's incredibly useful and requires no upfront fee. It works with all kinds of tablets and phones, both those running Android and those running iOS, so it will definitely work well with your iPad. The hardware is minimal, and amounts to the eponymous square magstripe reader that you insert into your device's headphone jack. You actually don't need anything more than that, and Square will send you the reader for free when you sign up; but if you want to get extra fancy, you can buy a stand to make your iPad look more like the familiar counter-top kiosk that customers might be used to.
Now, unlike a lot of POS systems, square requires no monthly fee and they take a percentage of your revenue instead. This can be both a good point and a bad point, depending on your volume of sales and on your profit margins per sale. As your sales increase, you may want to save money by getting a POS that just charges a monthly fee.
Maybe you don't currently have ten iPads just lying around for your employees to use, or maybe you're just looking for a more all-in-one solution. With Revel, you can get a hardware package that includes everything you need to put together an iPad-based POS, including the iPads themselves. Enjoy the familiar interface, but with a stand, a cash box, an integrated payment device and other hardware to make your experience much easier. The system even comes with a coin dispenser to help minimize errors in counting change that can cost you money.
Revel is ideal for many kinds of small businesses, but particularly for quick service restaurants and coffee houses. If you have a bar or a retail store, Revel also has options for you that can fit your particular needs.
With a name like that, you can assume that this POS was built from the ground up to be integrated with the iPad, and indeed it is designed to work with a range of iOS devices, to process your payments and keep track of your business's sales and inventory. It is a complete POS solution that you can take on the go. You can access your stats anywhere as well as store all of this information locally on your iPad.
iConnect also sells a number of their own, more complex proprietary POS hardware and software, and they also have solutions for those who prefer Android's interface. You can use their software for a relatively low monthly fee.
ShopKeep is a popular POS, and they offer iOS-based solutions. They sell hardware that works seamlessly with the iPad and their software is very feature-rich. Track not only sales, but expenses, inventory, and other data, and view it all in real time. You can also easily manage your newsletter and other email marketing strategies through their integration with Mailchimp, and accounting is a lot easier with their Quickbooks integration as well. They also have a great support team that is available every day, 24-hours a day; they will hold your hand throughout the entire set up process.
All of this is available for an inexpensive monthly fee, making this one of the best options for an iPad POS available.
So if you are looking for a POS for your new business, but find that all of your options are too complex, or else they don't reflect the kind of clean, simple interface that you're looking for, don't fret—there are lots of great iPad-based POS options out there. This allows you to have the intuitive and famously easy interface of Apple's iOS devices with the functionality of a superior POS system, and often the support of a third party that is dedicated to your success as a business. Many times, this won't even cost you more than 70 dollars per month. As you can see, going for this simplified model over a more complex, proprietary POS can be ideal as well as cost-effective, and, especially if you're just starting out, you should check out some of these options.
Friday, May 01 2020
As you might already realize, when it comes to the world of financial transactions, the devil is in the details. You have to stay on top of the fine print, or you may find yourself getting taken for a ride that you didn't sign up for.
Companies always go out of their way to tell you what you want to hear when they are trying to recruit you, so you'll no doubt hear all about their great features, their superior technology, and how low their rates are. However, this doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other things that they're strategically sweeping under the rug. It's not that they're being dishonest exactly, it's just that they're probably not going to tell you the whole story.
This is especially an issue when you're a smaller enterprise, as you're basically the model victim for tiny, fine print fees since you likely don't have a dedicated legal department. Many processors will attempt to nickel and dime you, and you might quickly realize that the fee schedule that you were shown while you were being sold the merchant account isn't what you're actually being charged.
According to experts at Shaw Merchant Group, there are a few different kinds of hidden fees that a credit card processor can slip into your transactions without your realizing. Sometimes it's so under the radar, that you may go through the life of your account without even realizing that they're there. This is usually perfectly legal, as the fees are likely accounted for in various clauses in your contact—though the processor is probably not too keen on pointing them out until after you've signed up.
Here are some examples:
Withholding a Certain Amount of Money - A lot of the time, especially in high risk accounts, the processor may want to accumulate a certain amount of cash from your transactions as security against charge backs or fraudulent activity. You can basically think of this as a sort of deposit that the credit card company may accumulate without even so much as consulting you about it first.
Withdrawing from Your Checking Account - Sometimes it is convenient to allow a credit card processor to automatically deposit the cash from your credit card sales into your bank account, but this also gives them the power to withdraw money from it too, without necessarily notifying you about it first. This money might be used to cover any fees that you owe them, any penalties, or they may even take money out for the purposes of withholding (as mentioned above). If you like having control over your checking account, obviously this is something of a problem.
Fees for Terminating Your Account Early - For the most part, if you as a merchant have signed a contract with an ISO, you are stuck with them for the life of the contract, unless you want to pay a few hundred dollars to terminate early. This isn't quite so bad, but often it doesn't stop there. You may also have to pay the processor for the fees that they would have collected throughout the rest of the contract, and that obviously can be a hefty sum.
Making You Lease Equipment - A lot of ISO's will push you to lease their equipment, even if it's more expensive in the long run than just simply buying your own. It often will also lock you in with a specific provider, since the length of the lease can last for years and you may not be able to cancel it. This puts you in the position of trying to decide whether you should pay the high price of breaking the lease or simply wait it out until it is over.
Not Offering Interchange Plus - Interchange plus is a less costly way of processing transactions, but many providers will not offer this to you. Make sure that you ask about it beforehand, or you may not be getting your money's worth.
Offering Promises That Are Not in Writing - It's terrible, but sometimes what the sales agent told you while he was trying to get you to close the deal may not agree with what is actually written in the contract. Whether it was an honest mistake or he intentionally misled you, there are often clauses in the contract that specify that the provider will not honor verbal deals of this kind. This is why it's important to read over the contract and not allow yourself to believe anything that an agent tells you if he is not willing to back it up in writing.
Even better, stick to providers and agents that you know you can trust. Shaw Merchant Group, for example, can help you to get in contact with the right people and the right companies that will treat you with dignity and honesty.
Perform your due diligence and research any company that you're planning to do business with as well. It's harder these days than ever for shady companies to not leave evidence of their burned customers, since the world is so connected. Look to see what other merchants have said about the company. Look for reviews or any complaints that other business owners may have made.
Other than that, keep your eyes peeled for certain obvious signs in the contract that you may charged much more than you might have assumed. When you're reading through the paperwork, look for the word “damages” and examine that area particularly closely. Anything that makes you liable for some unspecified amount if you break the contract early is bad news. If you can't ascertain what the price of canceling early will actually be and this sort of language is used, then it's likely to be an astronomical amount. Steer clear of this sort of company.
If you're still confused about who to turn to for your merchant account, or if you're a sales agent who is concerned for your clients' interests and you're looking for an honest processor to partner with, then feel free to get into contact with Shaw Merchant Group.
Download PDF: Sneaky Secrets of Credit Card Processing Companies
Friday, May 01 2020
Have you been considering selling merchant cash advances as part of your merchant services business? For the uninitiated, a merchant cash advance is basically when the credit card processor buys the future credit card sales, giving the merchant a lump sum of liquid cash upfront. This sort of deal can be arranged much faster than a loan from a bank, and approval rates are much higher as well. If you sell merchant services, it's a good idea to make cash advances a part of your offerings.
Merchant cash advances can be very lucrative for your business. Not only are they a fairly easy sell for the kind of merchant who needs money fast, but selling merchant cash advances can result in handsome commissions from the processor. In addition, depending on what program you choose, you can also often provide some of the funding yourself with your own money, which will net you even more revenue. If you're looking for a good added value product to increase revenue, this is a very flexible service that you can sell to the right merchants.
Why would a merchant even need a cash advance in the first place? - Well, there can be many different reasons. They might want the money for growth reasons, for example if they have a great opportunity to upgrade their equipment, but they don't have the liquid cash to do it. Perhaps they are unable to get a normal line of credit for whatever reason and they need to buy inventory in bulk in order to keep costs down. Often, however, you will find that, just as with the more common paycheck cash advances that consumers use, the merchant probably needs the money to cover some unexpected expense or an emergency situation. This is perfectly fine, so long as the merchant is consistently bringing in revenue regardless.
How much the merchant can get depends largely on how much revenue they are bringing in via credit card transactions. Ordinarily, the processor will allow them a loan of between roughly 80% and 120% of their monthly credit card sales.
What do you need to sell a merchant cash advance? - Selling merchant cash advances doesn't have to be hard, but there are a few key things that you will need. First of all, your processor will have to have a cash advance program, ideally one with the possibility of syndication (which is when you are able to also invest your own money). Next, you will need a merchant that is bringing in at least $5,000 or so in credit card revenue every month. The processor also won't consider the business unless it has been running at the very least for 12 months and has a record of processing credit cards for at least 6.
How do you find merchants that need cash advances in the first place? - Of course, not all of the merchants that fit the description above will actually need a cash advance. Really, it is a very all-or-nothing issue with not a lot of space in between: a business either needs cash quickly, or it doesn't. Because of the high interest rate, most business owners wouldn't even consider a cash advance of this kind unless they were hurting for a large lump sum of money.
The best way to find these kinds of merchants is to simply ask the ones that you're already working with. Let them know that you offer these kinds of short term loans, and that you can have the money to them within days, instead of weeks or months like the banks. Network with as many merchants as you can, even those with whom you currently don't work with, and make sure that people are aware that you can bring them the liquid cash that they need as quickly as possible.
How do you present the cash advance to clients? - Selling merchant cash advances is like any other kind of selling in that the presentation is important. Be mindful not to insult your client. The best way to bring up the issue of cash advances is probably when you are consulting with a merchant in order to sell them some other service.
For example, if you are working with a merchant to sell them on a new contract with your processor, mention that you offer merchant cash advances as well. You will find that most of the merchants aren't interested, and this is expected.
Do not push it because the fact of the matter is that most merchants genuinely have no use for this kind of loan, and are understandably wary because they are expensive. However, if the merchant's ears seem to perk up a the prospect of a quick loan, this probably means that he does indeed need some money. Tell him that you can help his business grow and emphasize the ease of this kind of deal. Mention as well that you will be able to help him through the process in person, and that you can take care of much of the paperwork. Make it as easy as possible for the merchant, and try to get them the best deal if you can.
What can you expect to make when you're selling merchant cash advances? - How much you make really depends on a number of factors and also on how much of your own money you're willing to put in. In terms of commissions, this varies a lot between processors as well, and every one of them is different, so make sure to ask ahead of time before you sign up for a program. Typically, though, the higher the factor, the higher the percentage of your commission will be. Also, if the cash advance is for a very short-term period—say, 3 months—your commission will also be higher because the processor is taking less of a risk.
Does selling merchant cash advances sound like something you would like to try? It all comes down to finding the right merchants in need and partnering with a worthwhile merchant services company.
Download PDF: How to Sell Merchant Cash Advances