By Aaron Nasseh
Over the course of my career in the payments industry, I've met and collaborated with thousands of merchant level salespeople (MLSs) who work with various ISO partners. I've also been privileged to work with many ISOs throughout the industry, both as an executive and as an agent. Regrettably, horror stories about MLSs losing their residuals have become all too common.
Despite this unfortunate reality, I'm still amazed at how quickly some MLSs will execute an agent agreement with an ISO prior to conducting any research on the ISO – or worse, before reviewing the agreement with a competent attorney.
I believe most MLSs have good intentions, which is why they often assume the same of their ISO counterparts. However, I've seen enough incidents to tell you it doesn't always work this way. While there are many good ISOs in our industry, there are some with less than ethical management. Buyer beware!
If you're serious about your career in the merchant services industry, it's critical that you protect your future income by vetting any potential ISO partner. You're in this business for residual income, so you must do everything possible to make sure you select the right ISO. The good news is that it's not as daunting a task as it may seem; it just takes effort and good judgment.
Here are several tips to keep in mind as you seek a partnership with an ISO.
If the company is public, be sure to review its financials; you'll be surprised to learn that some of the largest ISOs in payments are financially unstable. Review any past or pending lawsuits against the company, which can provide a quick peek at internal operations.
I hope you utilize these tips, as it could mean the difference between a great partnership or one filled with disappointments.
Aaron Nasseh is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at Finical Inc. His extensive sales and management experience includes having previously served as the General Manager of CardPayment Solutions and Vice President of Sales at iPayment Inc. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 818-330-4055.
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