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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Learning the ISO lingo


GS Online: 4.2 million and climbing ...

MWAA 2007: Security, depth and rock-and-roll

VeriFone corners NYC taxi business

Who's minding the small-business store, Visa wants to know

TMS, AMS settle their grudge

Congress grills warring parties on interchange


David E. Hanlin Jr.

Dark cloud shrouds ATM ISOs in Sunshine State

Missy Baxter

Prepaid cards: An obsolescent evolution?


On queue: Self-service card payments come of age

Paul Rasori

Breached security: The buck stops where?

Grant Drummond


Street SmartsSM:
Demand defrays doubts about costly cash advance

Dee Karawadra
Impact PaySystem

Perfect storm of acquirer liability averted

Theodore F. Monroe and Bradley Cebeci
Attorneys at Law

Size up your sales pitch

Marcelo Paladini
Cynergy Data

P-cards: The payoff is palpable

Aaron Bills
3Delta Systems Inc.

Small shops under the PCI gun

Michael Petitti

Company Profile

Money Movers of America Inc.

New Products

It's hues to you

POS Supply Solutions Inc.
Colored paper rolls

Outsource the chargeback confusion

ChargebackAudit LLC
Chargeback Dispute Management System


You are the sunshine of your life



Industry Update

Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 13, 2007  •  Issue 07:08:01

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Learning the ISO lingo

Like many business sectors, the payments industry has coined its own vocabulary. But while doctors can turn to the Physicians' Desk Reference, and entire law libraries define legalese, our sphere has no comparable compendia.

Terms like "vested residuals," "revenue share" and "free terminal placement" mean different things to different people. This can create truly baffling conversations. Moreover, some of our murkiest verbiage describes ISO programs that merchant level salespeople (MLSs) depend on for their livelihoods. And when misunderstandings involve earnings, the consequences can be severe.

In 2004, the Electronic Transactions Association published the Encyclopedia of Terminology for the Acquiring Industry by Donna L. Embry, Senior Vice President of Payment Alliance International.

The work defines over 3,000 terms unique to the acquiring industry. However, it doesn't cover many terms related to MLS compensation.

You say share, I say split

"Many industry terms -- for example, 'revenue share' and 'true interchange split' -- relate to one thing: agent compensation based upon a percentage of 'profits' after the deduction of certain buy rates," said bankcard industry Attorney Paul A. Rianda.

"Unless the buy rates from ISO to ISO are the same, you can have the same profit percentage paid to the agent and he/she will be paid a differing amount of residuals because of the different buy rates," he said.

Jerry Julien, Equity Commerce's Executive Vice President Business Development, advised MLSs to thoroughly inspect the fine print in agent agreements.

"My personal radar goes off very quickly when an agent doesn't ask me a single question related to my pricing schedule or sections of my agent contract," he said. Pesky concepts clarified

To facilitate understanding, The Green Sheet asked several industry veterans to help define the terminology associated with MLS compensation. Following are their thoughts on some potentially problematic expressions you, as ISOs and MLSs, are likely to encounter:

No definition can supplant due diligence. Always read the fine print, and ask detailed questions before you commit to anything.

Also, ask an attorney with payments industry experience to review a contract before you sign it to be sure its wording is not open to conflicting interpretations.

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

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