ISO Agents Can Offer New Forecasting Tool for Merchants

Apr 15, 2014

“Many small business owners and managers are staying up on Sunday night, trying to figure out if they are going to meet payroll next week,” says James Good, assistant general manager of Small Business Payments Co. He maintains that at least 40% of startups fail because they don’t know how to manage working capital.

A new cash-forecasting tool called the Small Business Workbench, will take the guesswork out of capital management for small and medium-sized business owners. Created by Canadian company, Small Business Payments Co., the tool tracks business cash flow and let managers know how much money will be available in the coming days or months.

Merchants can also use the tool to advise them on the best time to make capital investments, in order to avoid taking funds away from daily operations, notes Casey LeLoux, CEO of Convenient Payments LLC, a payments gateway and ISO in California. “It’s also a huge differentiator for ISOs.”

LeLoux’s company is the first ISO to offer Small Business Workbench, but Good says his company is looking for ISOs of all sizes to carry the product. They are currently negotiating with two other ISOs to promote the service.

LeLoux’s ISO agents plan to offer the Workbench tool for free to the first merchants to try it. Afterwards, merchants will pay $10 per month for service.

Good mentions that ISO agents can also charge merchants $20 to $40 per month for access to a suite of business management apps. Apps include time saving functions like inventory, payroll, and invoicing. The company plans to add one new app a month. The apps also communicate with the cash-forecasting tool.

ISO agents should try to promote the monthly apps option. It gives agents a chance to maintain monthly contact with merchants by informing them of a new app. This will cement relationships, LeLoux maintains.

Workbench promotion could also cultivate new relationships with merchants under contract with other ISOs. When these contracts end, merchants are already aware of the service and can customize the apps for their individual business needs.

“Obtaining new clients is a lot easier with warm relationships,” LeLoux says.

The system can be set up in 30 to 60 minutes, and will ask a few questions to customize content per merchant. Small Business Workbench is available as a white-label offering which allows ISOs to brand it with their own names and images.

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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 on 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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