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A Thing Four

Interesting Timing


Daniel Wadleigh

     The world is moving closer to a cashless society. If you were watching any television during the holiday season, you saw an endless barrage of e-bay, e-buy, e-everything! With $300 billion in 1999 e-commerce (and another $300 billion in “Internet influenced” purchases), and projections of $1.2 trillion by 2002, it is interesting timing for a number of leasing companies to announce that they are dropping the leasing of e-commerce software.

     We all understand the reasons. Terminal sales are in the high 90% of their volume and Internet (card not present) purchases have far more risks/losses. Perhaps higher discount/transaction rates and/or lower funding would help encourage participation.

     Nevertheless, with ISO salespeople, the foot soldiers of the credit card acceptance industry, calling on every start-up and small business, there is definitely a large opportunity for all parties involved.

     Every business wants a Web site. According to an American City Business Journal study, businesses with a Web presence grow 46% faster than those without one. According to the bestseller  Killer App, if you are not a business on the Internet in the days to come, you will be road-kill. According to a study by Southwestern Bell, only 11% of businesses use e-commerce right now. Of those without a Web site, 33% said they expect to use the Internet in the next four years!

  • There are 90 million individuals online in the U.S., 265 million worldwide.

  • The U.S. will have at least 165 million individuals online by 2002.

  • 75% of Americans have credit cards.

  • U.S. average annual income is $60,000.

  • U.S. Department of Commerce says Internet traffic will double every 100 days.

Source: University of Texas

     There is no question of the future and its direction. The question is, how do the ISO sales professionals get in on offering a workable product for this monster demand for Web sites and e-commerce?

     First, get yourself set-up with a group who has a simple and comprehensive package that does the selling for you instead of you having to become an Internet/e-commerce expert.

     Second, businesses find Web and credit services with a Web site. They use the Internet search engines to compare what’s available. Either create your own Web site or find one that convinces merchants to do business with you, including an Internet package. Consider this, a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer spends many thousands per month to conduct business: location, personnel, inventory, and advertising. A Web site with e-commerce spends less than $100 per month for hosting and processing, and $100 to $1,000 per month for advertising. Anyway you look at it, generating leads and selling products is very inexpensive online compared to the overhead of a physical location.

     With 19 million businesses in the U.S., and almost 1.5 million expected in 2000, there are presently only 7.86 million .com’s. That’s a maximum of 41%. Plus, a lot of .com names are bought but not used, and tied up to sell to the highest bidder.

     Whatever level of the credit card industry you are in, take the Internet seriously and find a way to be effective and profitable. There is a lot of money on the table and someone is going to take it.

     Daniel Wadleigh is President of Profit Experts of Austin, Texas. They offer a turnkey Internet package and have a Web site available for ISOs for retail and Internet. He can be reached at (512) 379-4084 or the Web site sample can be seen at

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