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Shaw Merchant Group
Wednesday, August 02 2023

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

The Credit Card Processing Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facilitation and Communication

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

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

What Is PCI Compliance?

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

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

• Quarterly network susceptibility scans

• Help in filling the self-assessment questionnaire.

Fees and Processing

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

Before You Start

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

Research the Market

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

Start Fresh or Franchise

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

Choose a Legal Structure

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

Start a Credit Card Processing Company

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

Comprehensive Business Plan

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

Insurance Types Needed

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

Partner With Other Companies

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

Lease Equipment for Processing

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

ISO Agent Partnerships

Become a payment service provider today and take your business to the next level. If you are a sales-oriented individual with vast experience in the world of payment processing or you are a driven and motivated professional looking for a new challenge, the SMG ISO agent program might be a great fit for you. With the highest paying commission structure in the industry, superior products, and sales support, our program will see to it that you are rewarded for your efforts.

For anyone with a sales background or a passion for the payments industry, SMG is the ideal partnership. There are dozens of reasons to become a sales partner with Shaw Merchant Group, but don’t just take our word for it. Here are some of the top reasons that we were given when we asked our ISO agent participants why they chose us and why they continue to work with our highly lucrative program.

Sales Partner Portal

With our industry leading partner portal, you’ll have access to online enrollment, training sessions, marketing materials, and you’ll always be ahead of the game with the latest news and promotions.


Stay up-to-date on merchant issues and their resolutions via automated emails and text messages that include a detailed ticket number describing what the merchant’s concern was and how it was resolved.

Registered DBA (White Label)

With our program, you’ll be able to market under your own brand, without paying costly fees! Your brand will be seen on the partner portal, marketing communications, merchant statements, and more.

Free Equipment for Your Merchants

Selling businesses on a new processing plan is much easier when you are able to effortlessly jump over the hurdle of the cost of the equipment. With this program, you can offer your clients free equipment that they will need for their processing provider change. This lowers the barrier to switching and creates a higher conversion rate for you.

Lifetime Passive Income

You will recieve 50–70% of residual income based on the pay structure you select. You will share income on every available revenue stream. With SMG, you get a True Interchange Revenue Split. Unlike other ISO agent programs, there is no basis points off the top for BIN sponsorship or for what they call hidden losses. Our sales partners earn more residual income with our 50/50 partner program than you would with our competition who claim to offer a higher percentage because thier interchange cost (buy rate) is higher.

$20K Performance Bonus

We offer a performance-based fast start bonus that is payable for anyone that onboards more than the standard threshold of clients in the first 4 months. This program is designed to reward those experienced sales members that join our team and quickly learn how to sell this product. The bonus can reach up to $20,000, making it one of the most lucrative and competitive in the industry.

Profitability Based Bonuses

We will look at how much profit is generated on the account after they have been processing for one month and you earn 14 times of the total profit. Example: If we retain $100 in residuals in that month, the bonus would be 14 x $100 or $1,400. You would have already been paid $600, so we would pay you an additional $800 on that account. This bonus is capped at a max of $10,000 per merchant per location. With our dual pricing program it is easier than ever to earn huge bonuses with a 14x profitability bonus. This dual pricing model enables you to maximize your bonus at $10,000 on almost every merchant processing over $90k.

Dual Pricing Program

When you are selling merchant services, one of the best assets of any partner program is more rewards and incentive programs that save your client money. The Edge dual pricing program is one of the hottest new commodities in credit card processing, as it is designed to save the client thousands of dollars in credit card processing cost, instead passing on the fee to the consumer in a way that isn’t damaging to their own conversion rate and revenue. We offer this program to our clients and make it easy to understand and present for our sales partners.

Medical Benefits

With some sales jobs, you don’t even have the option for medical coverage. With the SMG ISO agent program, you’ll have the resources that you need to provide healthcare coverage to you and your family at an affordable rate. We take care of our own, and when you are in our program you will have access to these benefits.

White Label ISO Program

Grow Your Merchant Services ISO with White-Label Payment Solutions

As an independent sales organization (ISO), you can upgrade your business by providing merchant processing services under your own brand. You may dismiss the idea at first, probably thinking that you don’t have the infrastructure or expertise to become a payment processing company. However, with white label payment processing, all you really need is a good ISO partner.

How a White Label ISO Program Works

To offer payment processing services under your own brand, your ISO partner will provide you with an online application page that doesn’t identify their company. This “white label” solution is ready for your brand and includes your logo, colors, and contact information, so your merchants only identify the payment solutions with your company. It eliminates any confusion among your merchant customers about who their service provider and primary contact should be. Your brand is the only thing the merchant will see on your website, merchant portal, and marketing materials. 

Your payments ISO partner becomes a silent partner, providing technology, payments functionality, and services. This puts you in more control, allowing you to deliver seamless, consistent customer experiences in all interactions – and enhance your brand’s reputation. With this white label payment solution, you won’t need to overcome negative perceptions a prospect may have about the company your working with. This is because you are creating a unique customer experience. Better still, you don't have to fall in line with another company's existing customer experience. 

Once you start providing white label payment processing services, you will also find that you build stronger, longer lasting relationships with your merchants. They'll begin to view you as a payments expert and an expert in the other solutions you provide. You may even find you are able to grow your customer base, as merchants in every vertical or niche can benefit from accepting payments, enabling you to market to more types of businesses.

Remember: white label payment processing enables you to earn huge residual income.

Our White Label Program Will Save Your Thousands in Fees

Put your brand on merchant statements and applications — build your brand with your sub-agents and merchants. Full white label payment solution with your logo and branding on applications, statements, online enrollment, merchant and partner portals.

We at Shaw Merchant Group have an awesome white label solution. There is no huge package of documents for you to fill out, no approval process by Visa and Mastercard and the sponsor banks, and best of all no annual dues. Here are some details on the “White Label ISO” program:

  • Roughly 4–5 weeks to fully set up once we get the signed license document back.
  • Executed addendum from you saying it’s OK for us to use your brand too.
  • This program can run on our standard schedule A’s with bonus and free equipment and has no other obligations. from you other than the standard agent agreement.
  • When we set up the DBA you will have access to EPX/BMO Harris for submitting merchants under your brand.

What do we brand?

  • Paper Applications
  • Online Applications (Simplified Enrollment)
  • Partner.PaymentsHub for your back office.
  • PaymentsHub for your merchants — It’s generic when your merchant logs in and then show your brand once inside.
  • Merchant Support Email — TMS (ticket management system) which emails you and your merchant each time we speak with your merchant and shows the proper brand in the notice and as the from address on the email.
  • Merchant Support Phone — Our call centers answer with a generic “merchant services” then once they have the MID identified, they represent your brand.
  • Deployment Packages — Generic boxes and welcome docs inside with proper brand.

What we need:

  1. A letter authorizing EPX to register your DBA on your company letterhead.
  2. A high resolution image of your company logo.
  3. A certificate of good standing from the state you are registered in. It may not be called a certificate of 'good standing' in some states.
  4. The ISO Branding request form.

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