The Green Sheet Online Edition
May 14, 2012 • Issue 12:05:01
Lists of approved ISOs and MSPs
Do you know where I can find lists of ISOs and MSPs approved by Visa and MasterCard? I'm thinking of doing business with an ISO and would like to see what their status is with the card companies as part of my research. Any help you can provide will be appreciated.
Merchant Level Salesperson
We have two links that will help you.
Visa Inc.'s list of approved ISOs and Encryption Support Organizations is at http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/list-of-registered-independent-sales-organizations.pdf.
MasterCard Worldwide's list of Merchant Service Providers who are compliant under its Site Data Protection program is at www.mastercard.com/us/company/en/docs/SP_Post_List_2012.pdf.
Check with the Better Business Bureau, too ( www.bbb.org). Also, many members of GS Online's MLS Forum (www.greensheet.com/forums) provide the names of the companies they represent when they comment on discussion threads. See if any of them work with the company in question. If so, send them private messages asking for feedback. And be sure to enlist the aid of a payment attorney in reviewing any contract the company offers you before you sign it.
Interchange plus versus tiered pricing
We're evaluating our pricing structure and would like some input. Some say Interchange plus is the most transparent and easiest route to take; others say not so fast - bundled pricing makes the most sense. What does The Green Sheet think?
David T. Bruce
DB Merchant Solutions
No pricing scheme trumps all others. It appears some ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) are racing to the bottom in terms of account pricing. But that is not the case for all. The Interchange-plus pricing model has become increasingly popular, but it hasn't taken over the market. There is a need for both Interchange plus and tiered/bundled pricing. No one-size-fits-all solution exists, just as there is no such solution for payment processing equipment and software.
A given merchant's inclinations and business model should inform the type of pricing offered. A well trained MLS who can explain how a pricing model works and why it is appropriate in a particular merchant's situation will have a great advantage. Even more important is ongoing support services. If you demonstrate to merchants that you are truly there to help boost their bottom lines, they will be far less inclined to jump to another service provider who promises lower rates.
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