How to Advocate For Your Merchants that Require Reserves

Set it and leave it – this is the mindset that we have too often in the merchant services industry. 

But there’s value in monitoring and checking in with your merchants, especially when it comes to ones that require a merchant reserve.

When a merchant reserve is first established, it is typically done at the start of a processing relationship. The ISO has no direct processing history to rely on. They rely on what the merchant has presented as part of the application package. The merchant could have omitted something, intentionally or unintentionally. 

Part of the risk the ISO is covering is that of the unknown. 

But there becomes a time when the unknown becomes a lesser part of the equation. The ISO can track the processing and chargeback trends reasonably well enough to better understand the likelihood of risk.

💡 Agents: this is the time to advocate for your merchants.
➡️ If a cap is not in place, you can ask for one.
➡️ You can request a partial release.

But don’t just do this for anyone, or you’ll become white noise. Only ask if you can make a reasonable case for your request.  That means doing your homework and giving reasonable background for your request.

This will also help you understand whether you’re working with a risk department that operates within reason. If they immediately dismiss you, you either haven’t done your homework properly or they have a my-way-or-the-highway mindset. If they operate within reason, they will be able to give you some concrete reasons to justify their position.

By advocating for your merchants, you can establish a solid relationship that lasts the length of their business, as well as provide a prosperous referral source.


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