17 September 2013

In search of the right payment processor

What factors should ISOs and Agents consider before working with a payment service provider?

Payment industry knowledge, dedication to work, and excellent communication skills are the must-haves for becoming a successful ISO. The must-do, however, is to choose a trustworthy Payment Service Provider to work with. This is probably the most important decision for an Agent or an ISO considering the bewildering variety of things to be taken into account.

First, be well aware of the business models you want to serve. Working with a processor that underwrites its own risk and insures its own liability has very distinct advantages. Look for a company specializing in the facilitation of various types of merchant accounts including low, medium, and high risk accounts, so that there is no gaping hole in your ability to provide payment services. Check also if you are concerned about fraud levels, that they have a wide variety of fraud screening tools and techniques at your disposal. For example 3D-security, blacklist databases, or velocity checks, as even high-risk merchants will try to operate in a low-risk environment.

Talking about risk, don’t forget the core of the system – the payment gateway! A stable gateway in compliance with the PCI DSS standards and the latest trends in fraud prevention will guarantee your merchants secure transactions, flawless payment processes, and accurate payouts. Also, do not underestimate the importance of detailed reporting, real-time transactions monitoring, and fine-tuned error checking. These features, in addition to a secure payment page and complimentary risk management counseling are a must.

The next essential requirement is good support through extensive training and ongoing technical, sales and customer support. If you know the product you’re selling as well as its features and benefits, the result will be a better use of your valuable time and an increased conversion rate. So look for a team of dedicated Account Managers, experienced fraud and risk analysts and well-trained IT specialists to support your merchants and guide them through the integration process. In-depth consultation and sound professional advice on your merchant’s business models and potential risks will result in lower chargeback ratios and more pleasant online experience for everyone.

Last but not least, choose a processor that has developed excellent relationships with a variety of international acquiring banks. It will give you much wider global coverage and acquiring solutions for a range of business models, and will ensure a world-wide, long-term support for your business. Join a payment service provider who can offer you direct merchant accounts as they will generate increased profitability for you. Fewer steps between your merchant and the bank will result in better prices for your customers and higher revenue for you!

Joining the right payment processor is neither an easy nor a fast choice. Take your time to evaluate all variables and in the end, the value added will be well worth the effort!