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Letters to the Editor

Hi Paul,

Thanks for replying to my message. I was looking over your Green Sheet Web site and a few additional questions came to mind.

First let me tell you that my firm has a client that is looking to purchase a franchiser. This franchiser has approximately 50 franchisees in the check guarantee business. We are attempting to assist our client in negotiating an offer.

I read your article entitled "United States Check Growth Study" where it was mentioned that the potential to manage check risk has not yet been realized.

My question is: Has there been any research done that specifically addresses the outlook for companies in the check guarantee business? If so, can you point me in the right direction?

Do you know of any franchisers in the business of granting check guarantee franchises? If so, have any of these franchisers been sold recently?

What do you think are the main drivers of value for the type of business that my client wishes to buy? Does the fact that he wants to buy a franchise business as opposed to a stand-alone check guarantee business impact the assessment of value?

Tony Centanni, CPA


Based on what you have told me so far, I would say that your client must be interested in purchasing either TeleCheck or Check Care Systems. I respond this way because these are the only two "Check Guarantee" organizations that have franchised.

It is true that some organizations like CheckRite have franchised, and that some people in the industry have confused their "Verification" and "Collection" business with "Guarantee," but I do not believe that they have franchised for many years. To my knowledge, only Check Care is still franchising at this time.

Finally, yes, there is a difference in the price in franchise organizations. Since you give up control as well as marketplace to a franchisee, it becomes difficult to expand in verification markets or handle national accounts, as just two examples.

Good Selling!SM

Paul H. Green

To: Greensht

Can you possibly direct me to the source for a listing, including volume and merchant location totals, for the top 10, 25, 50, or 100 bankcard processors?

Bob Hills


The best list in the industry is published by Spencer Nilsonís Nilson Report, and that company is in Oxnard, California. You can contact my staff by phone, and we will scout up a phone number if you would like.

Good Selling!SM

Paul H. Green
Editor in Chief

Dear Editor,

I have been in the merchant industry for about eighteen months now and am doing well. I owe some of the success to The Green Sheet. Every issue is full of informative articles, helpful hints, and helpful companies to assist ours.

I recently sent in an article for your "Tales of Sales Experience" column that you have decided to print. It would have been a thrill just to have my story printed in one of your issues, however you also sent me a check for my efforts.

I wanted to write to show my appreciation and to thank you and your staff for putting together an outstanding newsletter to help us all learn from each other.

Keep up the good work! It helps all of us.

Michael M. Snell
Netcom Data

Dear Paul:

For years, ISOs that want to offer full service programs to merchants have gone the extra mile to apply for a Discover account on the merchantís behalf when enrolling them for MC/VISA/Amex. Unlike American Express, ISOs arenít paid for promoting Discover signups.

Discover has now chosen to bite the hand that has fed it for so long. Discoverís new "unofficial corporate policy" is to steal equipment sales whenever possible, even if the lead was provided by an ISO who already has the merchant under contract. At a recent meeting, sales representatives were told to cut the umbilical cord to their ISOs.

Just last week, we were nice enough to help a Discover rep meet their 120 accounts per week quota by faxing them a lead. The merchant called us the following day to cancel their application, citing Discoverís rate was more attractive than our total package. Iím sure it didnít hurt that Discover will sell them a terminal and printer for under $500. When I confronted a Regional Manager about this expecting him to reprimand the salesperson, he told me that the salesperson was doing exactly what he is supposed to.

American Express has been smart enough to enlist the ISO as a friend and not an enemy. I hope Discover realizes the futility of their actions when the flood of new account production provided by ISOs slows to a trickle.

Name Withheld

Send Letters to Paul Green at or PO Box 6008, Petaluma, CA 94955-6008.