Vision Payment Solutions LLC no longer relies solely on other ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) to chase down most of its business. Instead, the Portland, Maine-based ISO now signs most of its merchants by capitalizing on savvy Internet strategies and following up on referrals from merchant cash advance (MCA) providers and e-commerce partners.
Viewed another way, four sales channels have emerged for the ISO, said VPS Chief Executive Officer Eric Hannelius, who started the company 12 years ago with Thomas Stone, its Chief Operating Officer.
In one channel, VPS spends "a fair bit of money" on search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising, Hannelius said. An inside sales team of 20 employees works the phones to close deals on the resulting leads and make outbound telephone sales calls.
The company performs underwriting, customer service and risk management in-house, which has enabled it to take on "more challenging" e-commerce merchants that other ISOs might turn down for card services, Hannelius said. "We've become very good at bringing those merchants on in the correct way," he added.
In addition, VPS has made friends with numerous sales partners that do business online, such as web-hosting companies and product-fulfillment firms. Referrals from those entities have grown so significantly that they constitute a sales channel for VPS, Hannelius noted.
Another channel got its start in 2006, when VPS became one of the first ISOs to participate in split-funding of merchant cash advances and factored small-business loans, Hannelius said. "We were fortunate to get into that before the financial crisis struck in 2007-2008, and we've been doing it ever since," he added.
VPS sends cash-advance business to about 10 of the major funders – including CAN Capital Inc., Merchant Cash and Capital, RapidAdvance and OnDeck Capital Inc. It also works with smaller alternative finance companies that form when sales groups leave the major players.
Hannelius said that offering MCAs has enticed merchants to switch to VPS for transaction services; moreover, the cash-advance funders send merchants to VPS for card services.
That leaves the fourth channel, the classic business plan of relying on MLSs and other ISOs to promote transaction services to merchants, Hannelius said. "We still have some legacy traditional agents sending us business as well," he added.
Some of those salespeople have been working with the company almost from the beginning. Between 50 and 60 sales groups consistently submit business, perhaps closing one to five deals per month.
We're always bringing in new ones," Hannelius said of the company's relationships with outside salespeople. "Our director of sales just sent out agent packages to five new groups." Salespeople have a large number of ISOs from which to choose; thus ISOs compete to sign up representatives, he noted.
"It helps that we've been in business a long time," Hannelius said of the advantages VPS holds in the competition for outside salespeople. "People know who we are." ISOs and MLSs also find VPS easy to work with because the company keeps functions in-house. That speeds up on-boarding and deployment, Hannelius said.
He noted that VPS offers competitive splits of the profit margin for salespeople and competitive rates for merchants. "It's a win-win situation for everybody," he added.
Hannelius and Stone started VPS as a registered ISO of Chase Paymentech Solutions and later switched to HSBC Bank. Four years ago, VPS aligned itself with Deutsche Bank, Hannelius said.
In addition to the inside sales staff of 20, VPS has 27 other people spread across the customer service, deployment, underwriting and risk management functions. In keeping with the company's "one-stop shop" theme, which describes its determination to keep operations in-house, the ISO published a pamphlet to help salespeople and merchants prepare for Europay, MasterCard and Visa implementation.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.
Director of Business Development
Company Profile originally appeared in
The Green Sheet Issue 150702
220601 - Nationwide Payment Systems
211102 - Kalamata Capital Group
210701 - Choice Merchant Solutions
200601 - Delta Payment Solutions
190802 - Credit.net, a division of Infogroup
190702 - Samsung Electronics America Inc.
181201 - Network Merchants LLC
180902 - MainStream Merchant Services Inc.
180801 - Century Business Solutions
180502 - Priority Payment Systems Northeast
180501 - Merchant e-Solutions Inc.
180301 - Wirecard North America
180201 - Sysnet Global Solutions Ltd.
171202 - Secure Cryptopayments
171002 - National Benefit Programs LLC
170902 - Frates Insurance & Risk Management
170901 - DCS Holdings Group LLC
170802 - Apogee Payment Systems LLC
170702 - Active Software & Hardware Systems
170701 - Veratad Technologies LLC
170502 - Frontline Processing Corp.
170501 - Platinum Choice Bancard LLC
170201 - Electronic Payments Inc.
161202 - International Bancard Corp.
161201 - CSR Professional Services Inc
161102 - Digitzs Solutions Inc.
161101 - Residual Sheriff LLC.
160801 - DigiPay: Solutions Inc
160702 - CreditCardProcessing.com
160201 - Lead Tracking Systems LLC
151202 - Benseron Information Technologies Inc.
151201 - CardWare International Inc
151101 - Lion Capital Group LLC
150801 - Topcreditcardprocessors.com
150702 - Vision Payment Solutions LLC
150601 - Conformance Technologies
150502 - Global Processing Systems
150402 - Mercantile Processing Inc.
150401 - Field Guide Enterprises
150302 - Signature Card Services
150301 - Premier Payment Systems Inc.
150201 - Humboldt Merchant Services
150102 - Expansion Capital Group LLC
141102 - National Merchants Association
141001 - Instant Credit Manager
140902 - Merchant Cash and Capital LLC
140701 - National Transaction Corporation (NTC)
140601 - Total Merchant Services
140501 - Nationwide Payment Solutions
140501 - BPC Banking Technologies
140301 - Meritus Payment Solutions
140201 - Process Pink Payments LLC
131202 - First American Payment Systems L.P.
131102 - Evo Payments International LLC
131001 - Live Reps Call Center
130901 - Regal Payment Systems LLC
130901 - The Merchant Solutions
130802 - North American Bancard LLC
130801 - Payment Logistics LLC
130702 - Plug n Pay Technologies Inc.
130601 - U.S. Merchant Systems LLC
130402 - National Processing Co.
130202 - Charge Card Systems Inc.
130202 - Layered Technologies Inc.
130102 - Glazer_Kennedy Insiders Circle LLC
121202 - American Microloan LLC
121102 - Keep in Touch Systems Inc.
121102 - Merchants Choice Payment Solutions
121002 - Washington Bancard Merchant Services LLC
120902 - Central Payment Co. LLC
120802 - Royal Merchant Holdings LLC
120801 - National Benefit Programs LLC
120602 - Cardinal Commerce Corp.
120601 - Veritrans Merchant Services LLC
120502 - ExecuTech Lease Group
120502 - The Small Business Authority
120402 - Chargeback Guardian Inc.
120401 - Electronic Payment Exchange
120301 - Complete Merchant Solutions LLC
120201 - CSR - Compliance Solutions and Resources
120102 - Alpha Card Services Inc.
111002 - Lead Source Call Center
111001 - First Annapolis Consulting Inc.
110902 - Point of Sale System Services Inc.
110901 - Sage Payment Solutions
110801 - Century Payments Inc.
110702 - Creative Vision Studio LLC
110702 - Network Merchants Inc.
110701 - Capital Access Network Inc.
110602 - eProcessing Network LLC
110602 - Moneris Solutions Inc.
110502 - Paragon Application Systems Inc.
110401 - Merchant Implementation Services
110301 - FrontStream Payments Inc.
101202 - CheckAlt Payment Solutions
101102 - Impact Payments Recruiting
101101 - Global Electronic Technology Inc.
101002 - TriSource Solutions LLC
100802 - Federated Payment Systems LLC
100801 - Voltage Security Inc.
100601 - NETSURION (formerly Vendor Safe Technologies)
100502 - Transaction Network Services Inc.
100402 - Secure Payment Systems Inc.
100401 - Elite Merchant Solutions
100302 - Retail Decisions Inc.
100102 - Payment Alliance International
091201 - Performance Training Systems Bankcard Boot Camp
091101 - Merchant e-Solutions Inc.
091002 - Whitehall Capital Advisors LLC
090901 - CoCard Marketing Group LLC
090801 - First National Merchant Solutions
090701 - checXchange Money Transfer Systems Inc.
090601 - Sterling Payment Technologies
090502 - Infinity Payment Systems
090501 - Merchant Cash and Capital
090401 - UseMyBank Services Inc.
090401 - Data Delivery Services Inc.
090302 - Velocity Merchant Services
090302 - Metro Merchant Services
090301 - Smart Transaction Systems Inc.
090301 - DCC Merchant Services USA LLC
090202 - TransFirst Holdings Inc.
090201 - ACH Payment Solutions
081202 - Affirmative Technologies Inc.
081201 - On-line Strategies Inc.
081101 - Vision Payment Solutions LLC
081002 - Veratad Technologies LLC
081001 - International Merchant Solutions LLC
080801 - GreenSoft Solutions Inc.
080702 - Smart Circle International
080601 - International Bancard Corp.
080502 - DRG Telemarketing Inc.
080501 - BCC Merchant Solutions
080402 - U.S. Merchant Systems
080401 - Greystone Business Resources Corp.
080302 - Transmedia Payment Services Ltd.
080102 - Sonoma Technical Support Services
071202 - Barclay Square Leasing Inc.
071102 - FirstView Financial LLC
071001 - Sage Payment Solutions
070902 - YourTownMall Business
070901 - Nxgen Payment Services
070802 - All card Processing-AAMonte-USA
070801 - Money Movers of America Inc.
070602 - Central Point Resources Inc.
070601 - Positive Feedback Software LLC
070502 - Premier Payment Systems
070501 - Amacai Information Corp.
070402 - National Bankcard Systems