I saw recently that the two top executives of an ISO that goes (or maybe went) by the name of Commerce Payment Systems, among other names, might be facing jail time in New York for allegedly overbilling more than 10,000 merchants to the tune of $30 million. I looked on the web to find out more about this company and was disheartened by what I saw, especially some of the reviews posted by merchants.
I don’t ever want to be associated with a company that cheats merchants and agents, but I haven’t been in the industry long. How are you supposed to know what charges are OK and what ones aren’t? Don’t ISOs all have to do some markup to make money? I’m confused. I think the ISO I work with is on the up and up, but I want to be sure. What do you suggest?
Dee Martinez, Merchant Level Salesperson
Many people and organizations in the payments industry deplore the illegal, deceptive practices used by a minority of bad actors. A small number of people can sully the entire industry. You are right to be concerned. While payment companies are entitled to make a profit, they must do so in a straightforward way without using bait-and-switch tactics and hidden fees.
Conducting due diligence on any potential ISO partner is the best way to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company that will do right by you and the merchants you sign.
Conduct research on the web. Use our online archives to familiarize yourself with industry best practices. Attend tradeshows, make connections with industry veterans who can mentor you, and make sure you understand all the details of contracts you and your merchants sign. Consulting an experienced payments attorney before you sign can help you avoid costly, sometimes catastrophic mistakes. These are just some actions you can take to safeguard your business. Best of luck to you in your payments career.
Do you want to shed light on an important but often overlooked issue in the payments industry? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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