As you start a small business, one of the integral parts will be merchant services. This includes how you will be processing your payments. You will have to find ways to add the options for accepting credit card payments that are provided by independent sales organizations (ISOs). These organizations allow your business to accept credit card payments from your customers and also to create a credit card of your own. This allows shopping convenience for your customers.
Shopping convenience further allows your customer to shop more at your business, earn early discounts and get additional perks. Other than the definition of an independent sales organization, you will also need to understand important elements that come with it like the processors, associations, and more. By correctly using the services from such an organization you can optimize the merchant services you offer as a business.
Understanding An Independent Sales Organization
An ISO or independent sales organization is a company that allows you to have credit card processing services. These are independent of any traditional banks or financial institutions. It is a third-party service that allows your business to sign up and accept credit cards. The organization is not directly a part of the bank. Rather they accept credit card transactions on behalf of your business. They then partner with banks to process the entire transaction.
The organization helps you establish the credit cards you will accept as a business. The two most common ones are Visa and MasterCard, which are licensed with bank credit programs. The selected ISO CRM will assist you as a business owner to get the equipment, or terminal needed to process the payment as well as be your point of contact for customers. When your customer has any credit card issues or disputes, they will speak to them and resolve it on your behalf.
Other than being called independent sales organizations, these companies are also referred to as member service providers or merchant service providers. Though the term varies, the services remain the same. Therefore, these terms can be used interchangeably. As a small business owner seeking these services, you can ignore such details and treat all the terms equally.
Importance Of Using An ISO
Now that you know what an ISO does, the next step is to why it is important. As a small business owner or those that come under high-risk merchants, it will be hard for you to accept credit card payments from traditional banks. This is because of the high chargeback risk. An ISO will do the needful functions on the behalf of your business, solicit cardholders and also arrange for the release of payments.
When your business is small or a start-up, then due to low sales volume, it is hard to justify opening a merchant account via traditional methods. One of the best ways for making money is through online sales. An ISO can help bridge the gap for you and enroll you as a business owner. You will then have access to the credit card processing services. Below are some key reasons why you should engage an independent sales organization as a small business owner.
Processing Payments Made Via Credit Cards
When you become a merchant with an ISO, you get the ability to offer both credit card and debit card payment for your customers. The ISO will set you up with the equipment needed and the processes. Any disputes that may arise with the customer will be handled by the customer service offered by the organization. They ensure that you receive your money. This is one of the most important aspects for your business as when the transaction does not involve cash, it means that it has not ended. While the item or service will be delivered on your side, you will still need to wait for your money as the credit card is processed. Furthermore, as more customers are using credit cards instead of cash, it will play a major role in bringing in revenue for your business.
Create Your Own Store Credit Card
When you use store credit cards for your business, you can offer some incentives to your customers which will motivate them to shop from you. These can be in the form of discounts or coupons that your customers can obtain every time they use your store card. This will also help to create brand loyalty. As a part of your growth strategy, you will want to consider having your own store card. The ISO company will help you to get the same.
Cost-Effective Form Of Accepting Payments
When it comes to a small business or those that are online, the prices play an important role. To be on top of the competition, you will need to set prices that the customers are comfortable with. At such times, every penny will count and that means the transaction fees will have an impact on your overall revenue. Most third-party processors have very high charges for transactions. However, with an ISO you have some negotiating power as a merchant as every transaction fee is underwritten individually.
Security with Flexible Services
ISOs are smaller as compared to large financial institutions and banks. This allows them to provide more personalized and flexible services to businesses. These services also come with the same layer of protection as offered by banks. This works in your best interest as a business owner as you are assured that you stay compliant, with negotiable rates and personalized customer service.
Along with the obvious benefits, an ISO can offer many additional features for your business. IT can help to manage finances and transactions smoothly and lay down a customer resource management tool for you. With card payments being the most common method chosen by a majority of customers, the ISO will help you do the right thing for your business. If anything goes wrong, you will have the security that they will take care of it on your behalf. This will allow you to focus on other integral functions of your business that can eventually lead you to success.
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