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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Size matters with big data

News

Industry Update

AmEx joins EMV push

Congress urged not to stifle mobile innovation

Google makes Wallet changes

New Zeus malware puts payments at risk

Features

GS Advisory Board:
New times, new strategies: What are you doing?

ISOMetrics:
Details on big data

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Prepaid EMV reaches U.S. shores

Rev takes off where Square left off

Views

When mobile meets RDC

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Why should a merchant be fired?

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Cooperation, social strategies combat fraud

Nicholas Cucci
Network Merchants Inc.

Five ways to fix your marketing problems

Nancy Drexler
President, Acquired Marketing

Reach your company's peak performance with training

Alan Kleinman
Meritus Payment Solutions

Spotting unlikely service providers in your midst

Chris Bucolo
ControlScan

Company Profile

Ingenico Inc.

New Products

Table for two, please

Harbortouch Reservations
Harbortouch

A mobile-friendly website

Paynet Systems mobile website
Paynet Systems Inc.

Inspiration

Give yourself a break, a long break

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 23, 2012  •  Issue 12:07:02

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Forum

What about so-called objective statement analysis?

One of my merchants was approached by a rep for an outfit that claims it doesn't offer card processing but can negotiate with the merchant's current processor to lower rates. I found out about this because I called the merchant to check in the same afternoon he got the call. I wonder if companies like this are legit, or if they've just found a different angle to use in getting merchants to sign on the dotted line.

Barton Molinelli
Merchant Level Salesperson

Barton,

Companies exist that claim to be objective third parties aiming to save merchants money on processing costs. Some do an analysis with an eye for improving efficiencies on the merchant's end. For example, sometimes transactions are downgraded unnecessarily, and by flagging those transactions and adjusting the merchant's system to properly categorize them, the merchant can save money using the current processor.

Some third-party companies reportedly partner with ISOs to offer this service, which, to our knowledge, doesn't typically involve negotiating with the merchant's processor but could necessitate communicating with the processor about system and platform parameters.

However, some reps that describe their services in a similar way are actually just merchant level salespeople (MLSs) trying to win new business. Now, there is nothing wrong with asking to examine a merchant's statement so you can come up with a competitive bid (although many in the business feel this price-based approach is outmoded and should be replaced by focusing on tailored services that will enhance a merchant's business in some way).

But MLSs masquerading as independent analysts are being dishonest when they claim their sole objective is to save merchants money.

We've heard of merchants who have fallen for this type of pitch and become locked into long-term contracts that cost them significantly more than their prior processors did. Sometimes the source of the dishonesty is the MLS, sometimes the ISO and MLS are co-conspirators in the scheme, and sometimes the ISO is shady and the MLS is too new to the business to realize it.

Fortunately many ISOs and MLSs are in the business for the long haul, have scruples and follow best practices in all their dealings. And some companies that claim to be independent third parties actually are. The challenge is to distinguish between the good and the bad, and the only way to do that is by conducting due diligence.

Ultimately, the best way to keep merchants in your portfolio is to keep in touch, as you are doing, stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry, choose your partners wisely and provide the best service you can.

Editor

Spotlight on giving

Our industry is known for innovations that continually transform the way people handle payment transactions. Awareness of our sphere has also increased because of merchant organizations bent on reducing their transaction processing costs. We are not as well known, however, for the good works many of us do in the world, from sponsoring local Little League teams to funding research on cancer to fulfilling wishes for gravely ill children. If you are involved in charitable work, we'd like to know. News of your philanthropic efforts may inspire others to give back, too. Reach out to us via email at greensheet@greensheet.com, by phone at 800-747-4441, on Facebook at Facebook or on Twitter using @the_green_sheet.

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

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Harbortouch | USAePay | IRISCRM.COM | Humboldt Merchant Services