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The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 28, 2018 • Issue 18:05:02

What it takes to thrive in payments today – Part 2

This is the second in a series of three articles sharing responses members of The Green Sheet Advisory Board offered to the following questions:

  1. What top three tools are most critical for MLSs to succeed in payments today?
  2. Do ISOs need the same tools, or are other types of aids more essential to them?
  3. And for equipment, software and systems providers, what are their most critical needs in terms of tools of the trade? Are these different for long-time payment players than for startup payment facilitators and independent software vendors breaking into payments?
  4. Given the degree of cooperation needed in payments today, what top three qualities must all essential players on the payments value chain bring to the table to foster success for themselves, their partners and merchants?

Part 1 of this series appeared in The Green Sheet, May 14, 2018, issue 14:05:01. The final portion will appear in an upcoming issue. Thanks to all who participated.

Steve Sotis, eProcessing Network LLC

  1. Try to minimize the number of provider relationships you need to manage while still offering your merchants the solutions they want in an effort to maximize efficiencies and remain competitively priced.

    • Work with a solutions provider with a solid customer service history. All the work you do to sell the merchant can unravel quickly if the chosen solution provider cannot properly support their solution.
    • Stay current with the solutions on the market; this refers to both new solutions and enhancements to existing solutions. Technology is changing at an ever-increasing rate, and merchants need to find solutions that help them stay agile and competitive within their market.
  2. Using MLSs has some issues, but when it comes to feet on the street at the lowest possible cost, they can be a good fit for the right ISO.
  3. For both old and new players the most important issue is security, security, security. Any provider handling a payment is subject to cyber-attacks, and once their system is compromised, it will take years before the marketplace will start trusting them again – if the provider survives at all.
  4. Cherish each relationship whether it is a partner, vendor or client. These relationships require time and money to obtain and are expensive to replace.

    • Be stable. This goes for not only the solution(s) provided, but for how your business operates and interacts within its daily ecosystem. People want to do business with companies and individuals who have a steady, consistent and reliable approach to running their business.
    • Always continue to innovate and be seen as an innovator within the industry. Technology changes rapidly and today's market-leading solution can be easily eclipsed by the next idea if constant innovation is not a core principle of a payment technology company.

Darren Schulman, 6th Avenue Capital

1. In this age of technology, when customers expect everything to be fast and come with a great user interface, a good MLS needs to be personable and responsive to their customers' needs; knowledgeable about the products they sell; and provide a great customer experience with enthusiasm. 

An MLS also needs to be resilient. They will hear many "nos" while looking for sales. It's extremely important to maintain a positive attitude and demeanor and keep pushing until you hear a "yes."

4. The top three qualities are the same as the top three tools that I expect my colleagues to deliver: be personable, be knowledgeable and be enthusiastic. With that in mind, all the links within the payments value chain need to understand the goal, which is to treat your merchant well, and the rest will be easy. 

It's also important to clearly communicate the needs of your merchant to your product specialist. Be sure to avoid the "telephone game," which can lead to confusion and/or misunderstandings that can cause an MLS to lose a merchant's business. Deliver to the merchant what they asked for and maintain a relationship with them. Remember, there's always another MLS out there plotting to take your merchants away. The more you communicate and follow up with your merchants, the longer they will stay with you – and be more likely to provide referrals for new business. end of article

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

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

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