The number of ISOs that have been folded into combined ISO-processors is staggering. I've been in the industry for a few years, now, and it seems for sales reps like myself there's less chance to find great processing deals because there just aren't as many deals to be had compared with previously. I've learned that a lot of companies faded away during the Great Recession, but a lot stayed afloat, only to be gobbled up by other companies later on. What is the end goal here? Is it good for the industry to have fewer and fewer options? What will be best overall for merchants and our work force? I think an industry jumping with choices would be best. I don't think we're headed that way.
Jim Muncee, Merchant Level Salesperson
It's true there have been a great number of mergers and acquisitions in the payments industry. Adam Atlas' article in this issue discusses this phenomenon. He penned it after posting a chart on LinkedIn that showed in visual form which payment companies were acquired by whom. The chart, Atlas noted, was so popular that at one point it almost "broke my LinkedIn account." In his article, Atlas offers insights on what the impact of consolidation is likely to be on various sectors and what ISOs/MLSs should be aware of.
As far as the end goal, it is likely to be different for each negotiating party. Some want to build a powerful company with unparalleled technology to serve multiple merchant needs; some want to dominate a particular merchant niche; some want to sell their company and retire or use their gains to develop new technology. Great opportunity remains in payments for MLSs. Regional industry association conferences would be a great place to bring this issue up and find support for navigating through what might be a period of further consolidation ahead. Check out our events calendar for details: www.greensheet.com/datebook.php?node=calendar_display.
Have you been affected by consolidation among processors and ISOs? If so, what have you done to ensure your continued success? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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