An Independent Sales Organization(ISO) is also known as a Member Service Provider. The purpose of this organization is to procure new merchant accounts with businesses. Banks use the ISO/MSP as a third party contractor. ISO/MSP use Merchant Account Sales Agents to secure business with organizations that need the means to be able to handle credit card processing. These agents generally target small businesses that may not have the ability to take credit and debit cards from their customers.
Small business owners know the importance of being able to process credit and debit cards, so oftentimes, they will seek out a Merchant Sales Agent to secure this service. The ISO is responsible for completely explaining all of the fees and guidelines that go with having a merchant account; however, the small business must be savvy and pay careful attention to the agreement they are signing. There are many merchant accounts available and most have different fees and guidelines, so it is imperative that an organization seek out merchant accounts that meet their specific business needs.
Credit card processing is a necessity in today’s marketplace, if any business wants to have any success, they must be able to accept credit and debit cards. Consumers expect this from every vendor. Very seldom do consumers use cash to purchase goods and services.
Once a business puts in an application for a merchant account, the account is not automatically granted. There is an underwriting process that must take place. The bank or merchant processor will review a number of things to determine if the company will get approved for the merchant account.
The business should have a clean credit history. Personal and business credit history is definitely taken into consideration. There should be no tax liens on any personal or business property. Also, the business does not want to be on the blacklist of merchants that have had a prior merchant account that went sour. This is recorded, and the banks and merchant processors do have access to this information.
Merchant Sales Agents want to get you approved for merchant accounts but ultimately, the decision is not up to them. If you don’t qualify for a regular merchant account, your business may qualify for a high-risk account. These accounts have higher fees and restrictions, so pay close attention to any agreement that you sign. If you do have to accept a high-risk account, the positives outweigh the negatives. You absolutely need to have the capability for credit card processing.