My name is Phillip Parker and I sold merchant accounts and credit card processing services as an Independent Sales Agent (ISA) for nearly a decade. As an ISA, I could sell the services of any provider with which I had a commission agreement. I will leave out the names of the companies to avoid implying accidental bias, but I sold the credit card processing services of both small Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) and large direct processors.
Upon entering the merchant services industry, it did not take long before I began hearing horror stories from business owners about the poor treatment they had received from a previous credit card processing company. Not only had many experienced bad customer service, but most had lost thousands of dollars in excessive fees. During my time as an ISA, I saw hundreds of merchant account statements from different credit card processors. The common theme among them was that most businesses were grossly overpaying for credit card processing services. Many were desperate to switch providers but were faced with paying outrageous early termination fees if they cancelled before their contracts expired. Unfortunately, this is still the scenario for the majority of card-accepting businesses today.
Most business owners are completely unaware of how credit card processing rates and fees are calculated and assessed. First time business owners often get the worst deals because they are usually oblivious to the risks associated with credit card processing. Even seasoned merchants often find themselves clueless on how to get a good deal and often wonder why their current provider is just as expensive as their last even though the new processor quoted lower rates and fees.
The credit card processing industry is largely unregulated in the United States. There are hardly any formal standards imposed on how rates and fees must be quoted to merchants, which types of fees are permissible to charge merchants, and what the fees must be called on merchants’ statements. The industry is mostly self-regulated by the card brands (Visa, MasterCard, etc.), organizations that are profit driven and accountable to shareholders who demand constant growth in revenue.
I left the merchant services industry to pursue an opportunity in a different field but felt compelled to offer advice to help guide merchants through the credit card processing minefield. Visit http://www.cardpaymentoptions.com for up-to-date industry news, reviews and money saving advice that can literally save you thousands of dollars in fees.
on April 17, 2014 :
(review of free book)