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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Untangling the legal side of acquiring


Industry Update

NACHA seeks input on QR codes

It's anonymous mobile payments for Amazon

Accord reached on EMV liability shift

Breach exposes 2.4 million cards

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

The promise of prepaid MDC

New approach urged for cross-border enforcement


The new PCI SSC guidelines: Separating the cloud from the fog

Kurt Hagerman
FireHost Inc.

Get ready for the mobile revolution

Michael Gavin
Merchant Warehouse


Street SmartsSM:
Think like an aggregator

Dale S. Laszig
Castles Technology Co. Ltd.

Impact of EMV and NFC on acquiring

Jim Bibles
Aperia Solutions

Training customized for you

Bill Pirtle
C3ET Credit Card Consortia for Education & Training Inc.

Company Profile



Meet The Expert: Ross Federgreen

New Products

Versatile storefront, mobile merchant app

AprivaPay Plus
Apriva LLC


Conform, with style


Readers Speak

Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 13, 2013  •  Issue 13:05:01

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Conform, with style

Organizations cannot make a genius out of an incompetent. On the other hand, disorganization can scarcely fail to result in efficiency.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

It seems implausible that ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) can differentiate themselves from the competition by conforming. But that is the case when a sales office and all of its agents demonstrate consistency in presentation and messaging.

With sales organizations configured in countless ways, it can be difficult for enterprises to achieve that consistency. Individual MLSs might print business cards that have an ISO's logo in an unauthorized font or color. Or a website might state that a sub-ISO is registered with an acquirer when, in fact, the super ISO is the actual registered entity.

These examples might seem minor. But merchants notice when the logos on their statements are different than those on their processors' websites. They will also take note when the messaging of an ISO's website and the statements of its MLSs are out of sync. And when merchants notice discrepancies, doubt can creep into their minds about the reliability of their service providers. In addition, the card brands have specific requirements for marketing materials, and not adhering to them can result in the loss of ability to process payments.

Even fonts matter

One way to minimize discrepancies is to develop a corporate style guide. It could take the form of design templates that specify everything from font styles for brochures to website design to the layout and content of business cards. When MLSs send out form letters and email blasts, for example, they should know what logo to use, the distance between the header and the body text, the font style of the body text, etc.

Of course, it's not enough to provide a style guide; oversight must be applied. Form letters must be checked before they go out. Business cards should be inspected for accuracy. And other sales materials should be proofed as well. It is about ensuring that merchants are receiving a consistent message from all of your reps and via all channels employed.

Get the message

Consistency in style and messaging also furthers the goal of any organization, and fosters teamwork and cohesion, which is vital to any endeavor. It also increases awareness among sellers that they are part of a larger plan and are integral to that plan, no matter how geographically far away they are from the organization's central hub.

Keep in mind the difference between requiring consistency and stifling creativity. You are endeavoring to uphold standards, not reduce your partners to robots. You want your satellite offices to retain the independence to conduct business in their own individual styles - just not too individual. Ultimately, uniformity in presentation and messaging throughout the enterprise will filter down to where it matters most, in excellence of service.

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

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