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Selling Your Merchant Services Business | Overview
Wednesday, December 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.

Download PDF: Using Your Portfolio as a Source of Capital – Selling Your Processing Business ​

6 Actionable Tips for Selling Point-of-Sale Systems
Tuesday, December 08 2020

One of the most important pieces of equipment for any merchant is their point-of-sale system. As the location through which every transaction that the business takes in goes through, it is important that every merchant have access to a point-of-sale system that is robust, scalable, and has all the functionality that is needed. However, convincing a merchant that they need a POS isn’t the hard part--this is a known fact. Convincing a merchant that your POS is the right choice, however, can be very difficult. To help you get well on your way to selling POS systems as a merchant services agent and helping merchants realize the power of a good POS, we present to you 6 actionable tips that you can take into consideration and implement to help sell POS systems.

 

Why is finding the right POS system important for businesses?

If you have been working with merchants for long, then you already know how important POS systems are to businesses. With this knowledge, it is easy to understand why so much importance is placed on the process of selecting a POS system and utilizing it to its full potential. Each business is unique and while all businesses have the same basic need to facilitate payments, the best way to do so will vary by the business.

 

For merchants, finding the right POS system is absolutely essential because it will ultimately help to determine what a merchant can achieve with its POS system and whether they will have any limitations. In an ideal situation, the POS system that a merchant selects will not have any negative impact on their business and instead will serve as a reliable addition to their suite of technology that they use in their business on a daily basis.

 

Be an expert

If you are looking to convince a merchant that they need your POS system, then one of the first things that you will need to do is establish yourself as an expert and a person of authority when it comes to POS systems. This can be done in a variety of ways, but what a merchant really wants is to feel comfortable that you know what you are talking about and you know everything that there is to know about the POS system that you are offering.

 

If you are hoping to make a great impression on your prospective merchant, then make sure you familiarize yourself with your POS system as much as possible so that you can easily answer any questions that they have about your POS systems and their functionality. With the ability to answer any question that comes your way regarding your POS system, the merchant is far more likely to trust you and find you in a favorable light, which could lead to a purchase.

Nurture a relationship

The next very important part of the process if you want to have success with selling merchant accounts and POS systems is nurturing the relationship between the merchant and the agent. There are a variety of ways that this can be done, as well. You must remember that each merchant is unique and is going to require varying levels of customer service and support.

 

One of the first ways that you can nurture a relationship with a merchant is to get to know them and their business personally. Not only will this make them feel valued and heard, but it will also give you much more knowledge of their areas of need so that you can address them most completely, earn trust, and ensure that your POS system fits the needs and requirements of the merchant you are working with.

 

With these things in mind, your merchant should be kept happy and satisfied.

 

Address areas of need

If you truly want to satisfy your merchants and make sure that they are taken care of and are more willing to purchase from you again, then you need to make sure that you are meeting their needs. You should start each relationship with a full audit of what your merchant needs and make a plan for how you can address it.

 

With this fuel at your disposal, you can approach negotiations from a position of power and understanding to increase your chance of closing the sale and making your merchant confident that you can handle their needs effectively.

Stress versatility

There are a few properties that merchants look for automatically in a POS system. One of the most important of these is versatility. Many merchants deal with a wide variety of transactions, promotions, discounts, coupons, and other functionalities. With a POS system that provides all of these things, their business will be enabled to operate at its fullest potential. If you need to communicate all the benefits of your POS system, be sure to touch on all the versatility that it has to offer and how it can help the merchant achieve a wide range of goals.

 

Include services

If you want to entice your merchant to sign on with your POS, then there are a few things that you should be able to throw in without breaking the bank. For example, you could throw in maintenance and upgrades for free as an extra benefit to the POS system. This is just one example of a classic sales technique.

 

If you have a merchant that is on the fence about investing in a new POS system, be sure to make it known that there could be additional benefits to be had by signing on with your POS system.

Always follow through

In sales, you never want to promise or lead someone to believe something that might not come true. That is because as a merchant services sales representative, you want to be seen as someone that follows through on the promises and assurances that you make. Without your reputation for upholding the truth and following through on the promises that you make, you will find that it’s hard to keep a merchant signed on with your POS system.

 

Always be upfront about the capabilities of the POS system that you are selling as well as the potential limitations that it has. With this honesty in mind and a respect for the merchant, you are bound to have more success than if you were to try and hide the limitations of your POS system.

 

North American Bancard Agent Program is your premire merchant services sale partner to support you as a merchant services sale rep. Contact us today to get more detailes an start your merchant services business with us today!

 

Merchant Services Agent ISO Agreements | How to Guide
Monday, December 07 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.

Best Cash Discount Program for Agents, ISOs, and Resellers
Wednesday, July 01 2020

For agents and resellers that work with merchants for their merchant services, it is known that the happier that you can make your client, the better. There are several ways that you can do so, but one of the most surefire ways to provide your merchants with as many benefits as possible when working with your merchant services company is to provide them with a cash discount program that helps to make the cost of accepting payments as inexpensive as possible. In addition to saving the merchant money on their transactions, you can also earn more as an agent by signing up your merchants for this program and earning incentives and bonuses that come along with it. If you’re looking for the best cash discount program from all perspectives, then you should set your sights on the North American Bancard EDGE Merchant Cash Discount Program. This innovative program contains plenty of benefits for the agent, merchant, and consumer.

 

What makes the North American Bancard EDGE Merchant Cash Discount Program the best?

There are a number of features that have helped to vault this cash discount program into the first position when you consider the best cash discount programs currently available to merchants around the world. Here are just some of the benefits that you and the merchant will enjoy when you decide to use this cash discount program.

 

No cost to the merchant

The main draw of this program is that it is going to help put more money in the pockets of the businesses that you are working with. Your merchants will be able to experience higher profits because the EDGE Cash Discount Program is designed to eliminate the processing fees for merchants to profit the same on credit and signature debit transactions that they do on cash transactions. If a merchantlooks at what they spend annually in order to process electronic payments, those savings will adsup.

 

With the EDGE cash discount program, merchants won’t have to worry about those expenses because they are being recouped in the higher price for signatue credit and debit puchases. This is a great selling point for your merchants because it enables them to recoup a cost that they would otherwise have to pay and saves thier business money. There is no cost to ebroll for the program, so they only have money to gain from enrolling in the program.

 

No contract

Another major benefit to the merchant is that there is no contract associated with the EDGE cash discount program. That means that even if merchants want to try it out for a few months to see the effects on their business, they can do this without fearing having to get locked into a long contract.

 

As an agent, this allows you to quickly and easily build trust with your merchants. You can show them the power that the EDGE cash discount program can have on their revenue without having to lock them into a contract or pressure them to do something they don’t want to do. With a free, no-cost, no-obligation program, your merchant will feel as comfortable with you as ever.

 

Free equipment

In addition to the no-obligation and no-cost contract with this trailblazing cash discount program, you'll also be able to offer your merchant free equipment to help make the transition easier for their business. This all begins at the POS system, which is the channel through which every transaction in the business flows. You'll be able to offer your merchant an updated POS system that has everything they need to make the switch to the EDGE cash discount program in a smooth and organized manner.

 

Apart from the POS system, you will also be able to offer signage and marketing materials to your merchants to help them advertise and raise awareness for the program. These materials help everyone to feel on the same team and help your merchants feel as if they have the resources that they need to succeed.

 

Easy to explain

One of the main challenges that merchants face when trying to change the way that they accept payments and charge their customers is the ease with which they can explain the change to their loyal customers. Merchants are not easily convinced to make a major change for fear of angering their long-term customers or confusing them. This giant hurdle is what holds many merchants back from moving forward or making productive changes.

 

With the EDGE program, you’ll have what you need to convince merchants that it won’t be a large leap when it comes to the trust and relationship between them and their customers. The EDGE program is a very simple, easy-to-understand program that won’t confuse buyers and will make merchants very happy.

 

How it works

To help our agents and merchants further understand the complete process of the EDGE cash discount program, here is a short guide of what you can expect to happen when the EDGE cash program is implemented.

 

Paying with cash

With the EDGE program, paying for an item with cash will be relatively unchanged. Customers will see the advertised price of the item, go to the register, hand the cashier their cash, and purchase their item. They will pay the lower price.

 

Paying with plastic

Paying with plastic will be a slightly different process than before. To encourage consumers to use cash and recoup expenses associated with electronic payment methods, a second, slightly higher price is charged on the item at checkout, increasing the cost of the purchase for the consumer. In this situation, the consumer is able to use the convenience of plastic and the merchant is able to recoup those expenses that are incurred when accepting cards to help their business and increase their margin.

Placing Free Credit Card Terminals VS Leasing Credit Card Terminals
Saturday, June 20 2020

When you are selling merchant accounts or looking for a merchant services agent program to work with, one of the major things that you will have to consider is whether you want to offer your customers free terminals or whether you want to offer them a leasing deal. As with so many other factors in this business, it really depends on the specific customer. You must spend some time examining their needs before you can decide which option to sell them. You will find that different merchants have different goals, as well as different amounts of capital that they can provide upfront.

You might also notice that, more and more, merchants will expect that at least their basic, entry-level terminals will be free to use. Lots of newer, innovative merchant service companies have taken to lending free equipment to their customers, as well as supporting the hardware and software for free, so you will want to take this into consideration as well.

Let's go over what these two options really are in a bit more detail:

Free Terminals - “Free” isn't exactly accurate here, since the merchant doesn't really keep the equipment. Basically, they are allowed by the service provider to borrow the POS terminal at no charge until they end their contract, and then the equipment is returned. You can think of this as being similar to how many broadband Internet companies loan routers or modems to their customers, which are then returned when the customer terminates their service.

This is an easy option for many businesses, especially those that are just opening their doors, because it requires essentially no upfront cost. There are sometimes monthly fees tacked onto this option, such as the cost to insure the machine, but for the most part, the merchant pays a lot less than they would have if they opted to buy their own equipment. Since POS terminals can be expensive, this is not a bad option for you to suggest to very lean startups.

Always make sure that a merchant services partner program that you are signing up with has some kind of free terminal plan, since a lot of merchants will want this. “Free” is also not a very hard sell, so you might find that it will be easier to close deals with a loaned terminal. Your job is first and foremost to sell your clients on the merchant account, and you will want to do everything in your power to make it easier for them to use it—that means making it easy for them to get the terminal that they need.

Leasing Terminals - With the popularity of free terminals, this has sort of fallen out of favor as of late, but it still has a certain amount of relevancy. Some merchants want to have their own equipment, and this could be for a number of reasons. Most commonly, a merchant may simply want to be able to switch service providers without going through the arduous process of re-learning how to use a completely new terminal.

Leasing terminals is not without its problems, however. Compared to simply buying a terminal outright, leasing one may actually be a raw deal for the merchant. Because they will be paying little by little for their equipment, they may not even notice that their money is trickling away over the course of months or years, and that they might end up paying five or ten times the market price for their POS system. It's nice to make small monthly payments, but as business owners, these merchants can't afford the delusion that those costs don't add up.

On the other end of things, leasing equipment can make lots of money for an ISO and a merchant services sales agent. Just as those monthly fees add up for the merchant, they can add up for the agent, and leasing equipment can mean a handsome addition to ones residuals. The bigger question is, however, should you sell merchants on such an unfavorable deal?

In general, the answer is no. Now, not all leasing deals are bad. Some equipment is actually quite cost-effective, especially modern, more simple POS systems that are based on popular mobile operating systems and touch interfaces. The leasing options from popular service providers are sometimes quite fair. However, there are still a lot of merchant service companies in existence that use these tactics to rip off potential merchants, and it's best that you avoid associating with them.

Your goal should be to build a long-term, sustainable relationship with your merchants. After all, this is what is going to give you sustainable, long-term residuals month after month. Being honestly concerned with your merchant's problems and offering them the best solution is also what will get you repeat business whenever it is time for them to buy added value products and services. You will want to cultivate trust, and it is difficult for a merchant to trust you if they feel that you have been trying to take them for all they have right from the beginning.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with selling a fair leasing option to a merchant if that is what they honestly want. By all means, listen carefully to the client's needs, and if you feel that leasing a terminal is a better fit than providing one for free, then give them what they need.

Regardless of what option you ultimately decide to give to your merchants, remember that no terminal is the least bit useful if your clients don't know how to use it. Make sure to partner with a company that not only offers various terminal options for your clients, but that has great training material and customer service to get your customers up to speed. After all, the sooner they are using your terminals to take in revenue, the sooner both you and the merchant service company can start seeing a new income stream. Make sure that your clients get what they need from the beginning, and you will be rewarded with few complaints, a strong reputation, and a consistent stream of residuals trickling into your bank account every month.

The best merchant services agent ISO reseller program is North American Bancard Agent Program. Choosing North American Bancard as your primary merchant services partner with earn you the largest commissions, give you access to the most powerful industry sales tools, and total sales support for you and your merchants. 

Download PDF: Placing Free Credit Card Terminals VS Leasing Credit Card Terminals​

Using Urgency When Selling Merchant Services
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​

Merchant Services Prospecting and Marketing
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 

Best Credit Card Processing Company to Work For
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:

  • Give your clients tons of options when it comes to payment methods
  • Get up to $5K for every new account
  • Get a large startup bonus
  • Get residuals of up to 70%
  • Keep track of your accounts with apps and analytics
  • Get free training on the services you will be selling

Contact North American Bancard today and get started!

Download PDF: Best Credit Card Processing Company to Work For

Selling Point of Sale (POS) Systems | The Future of Merchant Services
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!

Merchant Cash Advance ISO and Agent Program Details
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


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    © Shaw Merchant Group, LLC. Our goal is to gather accurate, updated information and assist you in your research. We recommended that you check with your service provider or financial institution directly and get independent financial advice before making any commitments or business decisions. 

    Company logos, names, and trademarks mentioned on this site belong to their respective owners.

    All merchant related services and products are referred to North American Bancard for first right of refusal. All information generated on this site is shared with NAB. North American Bancard is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Walnut Creek CA, of BMO Harris N.A., Chicage, IL and The Bancorp, Philadelphia, PA.