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A Thing
Issue 04:11:01

Industry Update

Mainstream Press Picks Up the Scent of Check 21

Secure Payment Systems Unveils New enCASH Access Card

PayPal Makes Error and Then Makes Up

Improved Technology Adds to Contactless Growth


Trade Association News:
SEAA Triumphs Over Jeanne

Available for Adoption: Necessary Solution Needs Good Homes

Investing in the ATM Channel

By Ann All, Senior Editor,

Sales vs. Marketing: Two Means to the Relationship-building End

Agent Finds Niche in QSR

By Matthew Swinnerton


Choosing Supplier Relationships

By Larry Bleiler


Street SmartsSM:
The Best Investment: You!

By Ed Freedman

Viral Marketing: Get the Bug

By Nancy Drexler

Visa's Recent Chargeback Reason Code Changes

By David H. Press

The Wonderful World of Wireless

By Peter Scharnell

New Products

TechTrex Low Cost POS Terminal Class-B Certified

Tranax's New Through-the-wall ATM

New Gateway and Virtual Terminal From PayTrace

Company Profiles

EWI Holdings Inc.


Caring About Service

Presentation Pointers



Resource Guide


Words Matter: Saying the Right Thing About Your Business

The payment processing industry is no stranger to serious competition. Merchant level salespeople (MLSs) compete just as aggressively to sign merchants as ISOs compete to sign MLSs. If you're an MLS looking for a potential ISO partner, or an ISO looking for new agents with whom to work, industry publications such as The Green Sheet and GS Online become an important tool in your research and education. But remember, others are reading them, too.

Not only do the articles and advertisements in the publication provide information about individuals and companies with which you might want to conduct business, but resources such as GS Online, including the MLS Forum, enable you to reach out to and connect with others in the industry for input about these companies other potential business partners. Here are comments from some of our readers about The Green Sheet:

  • "The Green Sheet is the bible of the bankcard industry."
  • "The GS is the source of good information about the ISO sales channel."
  • "The advertising helps me see who else is out there."
  • "The publication as a whole keeps me up to date and informed."
  • "I look closely at the ads to see who my competition is."
  • "I look at the ads to see who's new."
  • "The GS is very informative and a great resource for all agents in this industry."

As an MLS, it's in your best interest to consider the information you receive carefully, and then contemplate your needs as a professional and the needs of your business. What can you learn about the company? Are its programs in line with your business model? Do you identify with the image the company is putting forth? And most importantly, do you trust what you read and hear?

As an ISO or other company looking for agents to build your sales force, you want to grab their attention. Whether it's with an ad in a publication or getting the word out about a solid new program, you want to interest the best of the best and then hope they will pick up the phone and contact you.

What's in an Ad?

In the article, "The Truth Behind Advertising" ("Street Smarts" by Ed Freedman, The Green Sheet, Nov. 24, 2003, issue 03:11:02), Freedman solicited MLSs for feedback on what type of information they're looking for from ISO marketing and advertising efforts. In their responses, MLSs said that they wanted:

  • "to get a sense of what the company is focused on"
  • "to get a sense of the credibility of the company"
  • "straightforward ads"
  • "specific details on programs"
  • "accurate representations"

Freedman said it's important to provide details, be clear and concise, and most important, be truthful.

An article in this issue of The Green Sheet discusses the importance of marketing efforts as a way to spread the word about your company and a way to become informed about the offerings of other companies.

"Marketing, including branding, advertising and public relations, encompasses methods used to inform existing and potential customers [and partners] about the services and products your company provides" (see "Sales vs. Marketing: Two Means to the Relationship-building End" on page 62 of this issue).

Some MLSs said they like to see rates disclosed in advertising. While this might eliminate a lot of "guessing," are rates alone what draw you to a business partner? What if your merchants felt the same way?

Rates are important to MLSs and ISOs, just as they are to merchants, but there are also other important considerations: culture, relationships, communication, understanding and service.

Remember to keep those in the forefront when making a decision about the companies and individuals you will do business with. These aspects will take you the furthest in your career.

Remain True

Many MLSs go to the MLS Forum to contact each other for discussions, advice and insight about companies in the industry. Remember that in the thick of it, sometimes the payment processing industry might seem like the whole world, but it's also a very small world.

Word gets out and spreads quickly. People do talk to one another. And when the word is out about your company or you as a payment professional, you want it to be positive, even glowing.

It's important to grab the attention of others, but make sure you that while you're doing it you represent your company accurately and do not try to mislead others in any way. Be competitive, be successful and remain true. It's up to you.

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