My name is Bill Brennan. I am the Director of Item Processing for Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union in Plano, Texas. I have been in the check processing business for most of my 28 years in financial services. I am now interested in learning about the credit/debit card business.
A colleague in the consulting business pointed me toward your Web site. I'm trying to find a place with documents and diagrams that can help me learn about the business. Frankly, I'm starting with "do-re-mi" if you will.
Can you suggest where I might find information on the basics from the perspective of both the merchant as well as the processor?
Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union
Here are some suggestions that may be helpful to you:
The Publications link at the top menu on our home page (www.greensheet.com) will take you to our Publications page, which points to a wealth of resources, including The Green Sheet and GSQ archives, which date back more than a decade.
The Green Sheet is published semimonthly and dedicated to the education and success of ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs). It provides complete, original coverage of important, emerging issues and events in the ever-evolving payments industry.
GSQ is our quarterly publication. In it, we have covered POS equipment, Internet commerce, electronic check presentment, acquiring banks, rankings of merchant acquiring organizations, benchmarks throughout the industry, profiles of independent sales organizations, payments industry basics and much more.
You might want to begin with GSQ v12n3, "Life in the trenches: The MLS experience" and GSQ v11n3, "In search of knowledge," both of which delve into aspects being an ISO or MLS today, providing useful information and tips for beginners.
You might also want to review two popular series that are accessible from our Publications page:
1. Robert O. Carr's Knowledge is Power series was written more than a decade ago, and the industry has changed immensely since the articles were penned, but the series contains much useful information about how the industry works.
2. Street Smarts SM, which began in 2003, and continues in each issue of The Green Sheet today, is penned by expert contributing writers who write the column for one year and then pass the baton to the next payment professional willing to share knowledge with the payments community.
Street Smarts articles typically also contain insights from members of GS Online's MLS Forum, another recommended resource. The Forum contains discussion threads about anything and everything having to do with carving out a career in the payments industry. You'll need to register to join. Do that by clicking "Register today!" in the upper right-hand corner of our home page and following the prompts from there.
Once you are registered you can ask questions of other members, many of whom have decades of experience in the industry.
The following publications also may be helpful to you:
Paul H. Green's books are downloadable from our Web site as free PDFs. To do that, click the Book Review link from the Publications page. The Good Selling! books are the first two listed. We cannot attest to the pricing or availability of the other publications.
In addition, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide provide resources for merchants on their Web sites, much of which is also very useful to payment professionals:
I hope you find this information useful. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Welcome to the payments industry, and best of luck!
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