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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Postcards from payments 2026

Dale S. Laszig


Industry Update

U.S. merchants inch toward EMV compliance

RDC evolves beyond checks

New York set to enact cybersecurity law

Trade Association News: Acquiring with smarts and heart


Nonprofit payments: opportunities and challenges


Same-day ACH and faster payment

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

Critical issues in payments today - Part 2

Brandes Elitch
CrossCheck Inc.


Street SmartsSM:
Are you in the payments matrix?

John Tucker
1st Capital Loans LLC

Address payment security during the sales process

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

The narrowing delta between ISO and merchant portfolio valuations

Adam Hark
Preston Todd Advisors and

Not too big to fail: Processor bankruptcy

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Company Profile

First Data Corp.

New Products

Interest-free online, in-store installment plans

Splitit USA Inc.

VIP treatment for large restaurants, retailers

VIP Account program
Harbortouch Payments LLC


Heat up your sales with cold calls


Letter from the editors

Readers Speak

Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

October 10, 2016  •  Issue 16:10:01

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Street SmartsSM

Are you in the payments matrix?

By John Tucker

The great Morpheus in The Matrix film told Neo, "The matrix is a system, and that system is our enemy." I've been involved in the payments industry as an independent agent since January 2007. That's nearly 10 years of seeing the best (and worst) of our industry from all angles. That experience has shown me that the majority of merchant level salespeople (MLSs) in our space fail within 12 months of entering the industry.

Many of these MLSs were incompetent. However, I believe most were just not equipped with strategies to succeed because of being a part of our industry's version of the matrix. For this article, I'm going to focus in this matrix.

The matrix is a mom-and-pop network

On websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, LinkedIn and Craigslist, our industry's recruiters and sales managers routinely recruit MLSs with offers like the following:

Now, of course, these messages are 100 percent rubbish, but what are all of these messages designed to do? They're designed to recruit thousands of inexperienced individuals to sell for free (they cover their own expenses and pay for their own insurance) to build up a registered ISO's mom-and-pop network. Said network could consist of 5,000 MLSs who bring in an average of five applications over one year (25,000 apps).

With 70 percent getting approved and boarded, that leads to 17,500 live accounts. The average annual bankcard processing per account might be $50,000, which means the ISO boards $875 million in new volume. Collectively, the network of 5,000 MLSs brings in a staggering amount of volume, but individually, I estimate at least 95 percent, or 4,750 of them, do not do well.

The matrix's defective sales training

To the 5,000 MLSs in the mom-and-pop network, the registered ISO usually provides some of the worst professional training I have ever seen. I'm not sure you can even call it "training" because it does a sub-standard job of equipping MLSs with the tools, resources and strategies needed to craft a successful career. Instead, this is the rubbish that's provided to that network of 5,000 MLSs:

Here's how to really make it

As an alternative to the above tactics, I offer the following suggestions:

The opportunities today reside in the selling of complex solutions to resolve merchants' complex problems, not in selling basic merchant processing where, through the use of the Internet, most merchants know more about merchant processing than new MLSs.

Get out of the matrix

It's time to step out of the matrix of horrible sales training that is too prevalent today. Play to win. The successful players today are not randomly cold calling out of the Yellow Pages or popping up at merchant locations unannounced to pitch rate savings or free terminals.

Successful players are creating innovative products for targeted market segments, developing strategic networks, making good use of business capital to do wide-scale marketing via the diverse media available today. Break out of the matrix, follow what works, and sustain your career longevity.

John Tucker is Managing Member of 1st Capital Loans LLC, as well as an M.B.A. graduate and holder of three bachelor's degrees in accounting, business management and journalism. Tucker also has over nine years of professional experience in commercial finance and business development. You can contact him by email at or by telephone at 586-480-2140.

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

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