Opportunities for ISO Agents Blossom in The Mobile Age

Apr 25, 2014

Top CEOs at the Transact 14 trade show, including those from Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Vantiv, see bright skies ahead for ISO agents. The introduction and use of cloud computing, smartphones, and electronic tablets create opportunities for independent acquirers absent in previous years.

Integration of Mobile Services and the Payment Industry

Executives highlighted the integration of services through mobile devices and apps. Apps that can hail taxis, direct you to nearby gas stations, and offer you rewards while doing so are revolutionizing the industry for ISO agents. So many different services, payment methods, and marketing opportunities that can be processed through one device the customer almost always carries around in their pockets are producing fertile ground for growth in the payments industry. The payment industry is no longer simply a transaction—it’s now far more versatile.

Security through Cooperation

Of course, the dark clouds looming in the payments industry are still security in the wake of the security breaches at major retailers such as Target Co. and Michael’s. Yet, those ominous clouds have a silver lining according to the executives at Transact 14: payments security has been brought into the public eye. Merchants and customers alike are aware of the major problems and concerns with electronic transactions.

The solution according to the industry giants is cooperation. Now more than before small independent sales organizations need to commit to reducing risk by following ETA guidelines. In following the example set by Visa and MasterCard for increasing security through cooperation, ISO agents can shoulder some of the risk management to protect not just customers, but the industry at large. ISO agents should not be offended by banks taking a hard line of questioning about risk management as the industry’s mutual interest in security will be through cooperating to reduce risk management.

Perhaps the best opportunity coming for ISO agents is to help major retailers transition during the switch to EMV-based credit card technology. Major retailers may struggle to transition all their equipment and systems before consumers begin receiving the new credit cards. Independent sales organizations and agents could be pivotal in the years to come as the payments industry undergoes shifts in structure, technology, and strategy.


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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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