Business owners are now coming into contact with ISOs (Independent Sales Organization) salespeople on a daily basis. As a business owner, dealing with these companies can seem intimidating and even troublesome. However, payment processing is a necessity for most all businesses today. So what’s the solution for business owners?

Well, you know the saying ‘knowledge is power.’ Having knowledge of what your options are is key to equipping your company with the best financial options available. That’s why Paymentsmith is here today to not only explain what part an ISO plays in the processing you need, but to also redefine what an ISO really looks like to us here at Paymentsmith.

What is an ISO?

By definition, “ISO” stands for “Independent Sales Organization” and is a formal designation that a company must have in order to sell credit card processing services under its own company name. To put it simply, an ISO is basically a third party payment processing company that is authorized to handle merchant accounts for businesses. Independent Sales Organizations operate by having special relationships with banks. The banks provide backing for the billions of dollars that the ISO’s merchants transact, while the ISO handles the day-to-day activities of a merchant account – aka setting up the account, providing the payment technology and support, and assisting with the unique processing needs of the merchant.

In today’s world of payment processing, an Independent Sales Organization is a very common business model for soliciting credit card processing to other businesses. Historically, many of these types of organizations have received a bad reputation, and in some cases, business owners feel like it is better to go with a large banking institution for their payment processing. Why is that? Well, there’s a couple of solid reasons why ISO’s turn-off business owners.

They can do what they want.

ISOs are allowed to set their terms of their own merchant account contracts and mark up processing rates and fees. The process of accepting credit cards is complicated enough (often involving up to 7 different business entities within one single transaction) and when ISOs operate unregulated, it’s easier for a customer to be taken advantage of.

Old school sales tactics.

A lot of ISO salespeople are 1099 employees. The margins are generally small for a payment processing sale, so many of these 1099 salesmen have to make their wages with a higher volume of sales. This means they’re usually more transactional with their sales approach, which means they may not be spending a ton of time learning about your needs as a business owner.

How is Paymentsmith Changing This?

*This is not always the case with ISO’s…just a commonality we have experienced ourselves as business owners and what our customers have experienced. Paymentsmith is considered an ISO. We also employ some 1099 employees. We started this business because we couldn’t stand the unfair pricing, hidden contract fees and old school sales tactics that we were experiencing within our own businesses. Our goal was to be centuries different than the ‘typical ISO.’ By redefining what it means to be an ISO, we feel we can change the payment processing experience.

How Do We Do This?

It all comes down to changing the fundamental parts of how an ISO is built. We took our best and worst experiences, compiling together stories that led us to what a typical customer really needs and wants. Our final decision was that it was necessary to redefine Paymentsmith from an Independent Sales Organization to an Independent Support Organization.

By Paymentsmith definition, our “Independent Support Organization” is a financial technology education hub, helping a multitude of business types and industries succeed financially by providing customer-centric services and products that are tailored to their needs. Sounds kind of cool, right? We also knew redefining ourselves was just the first step in creating change. Actually living and teaching others about it was the next.

Continue reading to learn how we are truly supporting our customers and plans for continued support in the future.

What Does It Mean To Be An Independent Support Organization?

Of course – we still run off of profit. Every business needs money. However, they way we choose to make that revenue is not at the expense of our customers, get it? (financial pun – we make these often).

We believe that we support our customers a few different ways. Always keeping in mind the customer when creating solutions, pricing and products is No. 1. We always ask ourselves, “How we can provide better customer service?” We understand that means being there to make sure things go smoothly, but also being there when things don’t go smoothly.

Contact Support

Most ISO companies are hands off when things are not going smoothly (ie a deposit was missed or there’s a double transaction done by mistake). Usually, the ISO will redirect the customer to a customer service call line hosted by the larger conglomerate business that manages the ISO. This is not who you want to talk to. For us, having direct lines to a dedicated account representative is everything. We strive to have as much communication done in-house as possible, whenever the customer needs it.

We also will soon launch live chat bots for the customers that prefer a quick transactional chat over a conversation. Live chatbots make it easy for customers to ask a quick question and get a quick answer (from a human) – so they ideally don’t skip a beat in their busy day.

Integrated Support

You know when you call into a customer service line for a business with one question and they have to redirect you to three different sectors of their business because the systems don’t talk to each other? This can become a phone tag nightmare so quickly for the customer. That’s why we invested upfront in Salesforce, so all of our systems are easily accessible for the most seamless customer service possible.

We never set out to be the biggest, just the best at what we do. With that being said, growth is somewhat inevitable – and it is our plan to continue to use one streamlined integration throughout that process, so that you never have to be transferred around.

Educational Support

From streaming live videos of platform walk-throughs to helpful blog articles on business and financials, we offer a wide variety of ways to educate yourself as a business owner. Being education leaders in payments, we feel it is our duty to share with the public. We’ve had enough of this “in the dark” feeling for business owners.

Sharing tips and tricks with fellow business owners on how to make more profitability is good for us, good for owners and good for the economy. It’s a win all around. Even if we don’t end up being the company a customer chooses to go with, we are happy to have helped make the best decision for themselves.

CardConnect Support

We chose the CardConnect platform to be our customer-facing platform for many reasons, but primarily because of its excellent support capabilities. CardConnect makes it extremely hassle-free to get online and view your account with all your transactions, make changes easily by yourself and move on with your day without waiting on hold for hours.

You shouldn’t feel bad about making inevitable mistakes when processing payments. Trust us when we say it happens to everyone. What you should feel is relieved when you’re able to make the necessary changes on-the-go and in a timely manner.

At Paymentsmith, we believe that being an educational support organization will benefit not only our customers, but the financial industry in general. Sharing information on the latest financial technology, tools and services will allow our subscribers to feel confident in their payment experiences and financial security. Our hope is to change the way business owners view financial technology for the better… and to work with some awesome business owners along the way.