How ISOs Can Prepare for Cryptocurrency

Nov 08, 2018

While cryptocurrency is not a significant factor for an agent ISO yet, there is a lot of chatter going on in the industry about how cryptocurrency will alter the way the value of goods are exchanged. Even so, experts are saying that the traditional merchant services model will have the advantage and appeal of widespread acceptance. Cryptocurrency still has a long way to go.

For example, consider the process that takes place when a consumer goes to a store and wishes to pay with their credit card via the major card networks. When the payment takes place, it occurs with an agreement that the form of value will be in whatever currency that has been predetermined. The customer, merchant, acquirer, network and issuer have expressed their consent. With cryptocurrency, on the other hand, acceptance is not widespread – though it is gaining traction.

What are the Top Major Cryptocurrencies

Many ISOs are already aware that there are different groups of cryptocurrencies to take into account. While there are similarities between them, there are also key differences than an agent ISO should know. Consider the following list of top currencies and how you can distinguish between them:

Bitcoin. Bitcoin has experienced great success thus far, even though there are problems that need to be addressed like scalability and privacy. It has still risen to become the world’s leading cryptocurrency with relative ease. Thousands of merchants all over the world have begun accepting bitcoin payments, both offline and online.

Litecoin. Some consider Litecoin to be a bit of a bitcoin clone. However, Litecoin does offer a different mining algorithm and faster transactions. Litecoin is accepted in various locations, but has not enjoyed the same level of acceptance as bitcoin.

Ethereum. Many people have also compared Ethereum to bitcoin. On the contrary, Ethereum focuses on the technical side of blockchain development (e.g. native tokens, smart contracts, decentralized applications, etc.).

Ripple. Ripple brings great things to the table. Unlike the other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is not about speculation. Instead, it focuses on transitional utility. This has led many banks around the world to consider Ripple as an option to improve transactions and other day-to-day operations in the future.

Out of all of these cryptocurrencies, the main one ISOs should be concerned about is bitcoin. Why? It currently has the highest amount of acceptance as a payment method within the ecosystem. In fact, major in-store retailers like Microsoft, Expedia and Newegg – among others – accept bitcoin as payment.

What Cryptocurrencies mean for ISOs

As cryptocurrency continues to evolve, and it will, more points of acceptance will be added to the ecosystem. The more this happens, the more important cryptocurrency will become to ISOs. The best thing you can do as an agent ISO is to take the extra time to educate yourself.

Make sure you understand the basics of ISO. Know how and why this technology is relevant. The key is to understand that blockchain is not cryptocurrency – it is actually the technology that cryptocurrency is built upon. You will need to have a thorough understanding of all of this, so you can better communicate and educate merchants. You will likely be receiving many questions in the future about cryptocurrency acceptance. You will want to be as informed as possible to help your customers incorporate even faster payments.

The first step in being successful is to identify why you want to offer cryptocurrency acceptance to merchants in the first place. For example, to serve high risk industries. You will then need to make sure you develop an extremely targeted pitch that is tailored to your audience. Explain all of the benefits and the future of cryptocurrency.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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