Secrets of Building a Successful ISO: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Don’t spread yourself too thin across too many processing relationships.

It is nearly impossible to have only one payment processing relationship. One might be your only source for petro, another might be your only best option for high risk, while yet another might have your favorite solution for retail card-present business.

ISOs usually find themselves in a situation with multiple processing relationships because they’re trying to be everything to everyone. They want to sell into every opportunity that they walk into.

But ISOs should try to minimize these relationships down to a select few.

Why?
➡️ When ISOs spread themselves too thin across several relationships, they usually don’t have leverage in any of them.
➡️ They spend too much time managing merchants across several platforms, leading to inefficiency
➡️ They spend too much time learning the ins and outs and supporting each of these processor platforms.
➡️ They spend too much time consolidating residual downlines across several relationships. Yes, there are tools to help manage this, but they can be expensive and the more relationships, the more complicated you make this activity.
➡️ They significantly reduce the value of their business if their ultimate goal is to sell.

Diversity isn’t a bad thing when it comes to processing relationships.

After all, we’ve all seen a merchant services portfolio go downhill fast after an acquisition, a sponsor bank program that’s gone sour, or some other major event that puts a portfolio at risk.

But diversification is a balancing act. ISOs should find their niche, establish solid processing relationships that meet the needs of that niche, invest in making the processes with them more efficient, and then nurture those relationships.

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