Revisiting the sell, lease or place debate
I have never rented or done a lease in my seven years in the business and never will. It's tantamount to stealing. My heart breaks every time I run across a merchant that is paying $49.95 a month for four years for a terminal I would have sold them at cost - around $200.
A few times I have bought a terminal myself and "rented" it to a merchant to help them out, but all rental payments went toward purchasing the terminal at cost.
Matrix Payment Systems
Thank you for responding to "Sell, lease or place equipment?" which appeared in this section of The Green Sheet, June 11, 2012, issue 12:06:01. A case can also be made for the merits of leasing terminals, depending on a given merchant's objectives and tax strategies. However, it is vital that we all continue to communicate with one another when we have differing views on practices that shape the way payment professionals structure their offerings and serve the merchant community.
A possible value-add for payment pros?
In response to your July 9, 2012, Forum edition seeking expert perspectives, I would like to extend a valuable tip/resource to fellow colleagues. I work with North American Bancard and have been in the payments business a few years now. I love and enjoy this biz due to the residual income and diverse market potential.
In addition to the merchant services industry, I am also a small-business consultant for a company offering legal protection against identity theft and fraud, in addition to providing legal insurance plans and services. I love this category of business for the same reasons I do the merchant services industry.
The point I want to drive home is that identity theft and credit fraud were voted by the FBI as "the fastest growing white collar crime in America these days and surpassing the drug trade." As ISOs, we collect vital information from merchants (Social Security numbers, Tax IDs, addresses and other sensitive information). According to the FACTA [Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act] laws, we all have to be in compliance when collecting and storing such information. The first offense can be a very costly fine and maybe worse, not to mention lawsuits galore.
We live in a very litigious society, so prevention is the best medicine. Many Americans have car insurance in case of an accident, they have health insurance in case of illness, they have life insurance in case of death, but most of us do not have legal protection in case of events such as information theft and other legal situations that arise.
According to federal guidelines, if you have a valid written and documented protection program, you can avoid certain costly fines and lawsuits. I believe it is worth it for ISOs to not only protect their own businesses, but also to offer their merchants this type of protection. I wanted to let GS readers know it is a possible line of business to consider.
ISO and Independent Consultant
Thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us. Legal protection is not something we've heard much about within the payments industry, so it will be enlightening to see what our readers might have to say about it.
Gracias, merci, danke, thank you
While preparing this issue for publication, we, at The Green Sheet, paused to reflect on how grateful we are for our readers, contributors, advisers and advertisers who together form a community of professionals who care about the well being of the industry as a whole and the merchants whose business success leads to our prosperity. Thank you all for your participation in this always educational venture. And if you'd like to give a shout out to a remarkable or particularly helpful individual, company, association or industry initiative, you can do that on this page, too. Reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 800-747-4441, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegreensheetinc or on Twitter using @the_green_sheet.
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