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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Reload with prepaid


Industry Update

Cynergy acquired by ComVest

A certified alternative

Dueling Strategies: VeriFone-Chase, Heartland-Hypercom

Optimism prevails at WSAA


Special report on the ETA's 2009 Strategic Leadership Forum

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.

Wal-Mart and the unbanked

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Glossary of common payments industry terms

Research Rundown

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Prepaid players expand to meet demand

From coins to customers

In-house, SaaS or PaaS that solution?


Sell, rent, lease or give it away - what to do?

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Use security to retain merchants

Scott Henry


Street SmartsSM:
Why do we think we're different?

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang

Start with ripples, not waves

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Legal aspects of high-risk processing

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Digging into PCI - Part 4:
Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

Company Profile

Merchant e-Solutions Inc.

New Products

Consolidated purchasing for truckers

Smart Solutions
Comdata Corp.

A gateway into e-commerce

Brick and Click
First Data Corp., Yahoo! Inc.


Twenty tips for lifelong learning



Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 09, 2009  •  Issue 09:11:01

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Start with ripples, not waves

By Jeff Fortney

Often newer merchant level salespeople (MLS) will say, "I am concentrating on bigger merchants; my time is too valuable otherwise." But after they gain experience, the same MLSs will say, "I'll sign everyone and anyone, the smaller the better."

As they gain experience, wise MLSs change their minds and adapt their expectations. Sadly, many others don't have this epiphany before it's too late, and they don't survive in the business. But there is a way to avoid this: Start with the same mindset as experienced MLSs. All that is required is a different approach to value.

In the payments world, it is all too common to consider the value of merchants as solely the revenue earned on their processing and ancillary services. Yet, is that a true measure of a merchant's worth? Is that all a merchant brings of value to the relationship?

Experienced MLSs know that a merchant's true value is not just gauged in terms of revenue. A merchant's true value can be likened to the ripples of a pebble as it drops into a pond. No matter the size of the rock, ripples form and expand.

If you visualize the rock as a merchant added to your portfolio, these ripples can represent the ongoing benefit found by the original signing of the merchant. These range from residual income to referral value.


In fact, r-i-p-p-l-e-s can be used to convey why experienced MLSs willingly seek out small to medium-sized merchants, as follows:

R= Referrals
I= Income
P= Performance
P= Portfolio Protection
L= Loyalty
E= Ease
S= Security

Using the r-i-p-p-l-e-s approach is not saying that signing a large merchant is a bad thing. It isn't. Instead, by following this approach, the large merchant will be a better fit to your overall portfolio and will not dominate it. Try it. Who knows? The ripples may make you buy a bigger boat.

Jeff Fortney is Director of Business Development with Clearent LLC. He has more than 12 years' experience in the payments industry. Contact him at or 972-618-7340.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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