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Wednesday, April 19 2017
Start Selling Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Whether you’re at a point in your life where you’re ready to take your work in a completely new direction or you simply want to make extra money, becoming a merchant services agent might be your calling. It’s a great way to make both upfront and residual income. Merchant services companies are always hungry for new clients, since their business model is one of scale, and as a sales agent it would be your job to bring these prospects to the company and set them up with equipment or services. In return, you can be paid handsomely.

The best part is that, unlike being a typical employee, you have a lot more choice. There are many merchant service companies out there that you can choose from. If you do your research, you can focus on the ones that are perfect for you and serve your market best. You have a lot of control over what you can do to tweak your business to make more money. You can also choose how you want to be compensated, whether with upfront bonuses, residuals, or even buyouts of your long-term residuals if you need a lump sum.

As you might imagine, though, deciding on the right merchant service company for you takes more than a few hours of work. If you pick the wrong company, you could end up with a less-than-ideal compensation situation—or, worse, you could just be ripped off altogether. Just as with any other industry, a few card processing businesses out there aren’t very ethical and you can end up never getting paid for your hard work, or having your earnings shaved.

Chances are, though, that the problems you might encounter will be less extreme than these. For example, a lot of people sign up with an ISO only to find that the company rejects their clients’ applications because they are in a certain industry. Some credit card processors refuse to work with, for instance, alcohol and tobacco retailers or online businesses, since these are considered “risky” when it comes to chargebacks.

Yet another issue you might run into is a merchant services company that is still stuck in the past and isn’t offering any of the latest technology. In a world where clients often expect free terminals nowadays, sales agents need to keep up and offer the latest touch screen tablet-based POSes.

Ending up with a credit card processor like this can be a complete waste of time and money. To ensure that you won’t be throwing your investment down a hole, make sure to find a company with a good reputation. Join local business associations and get a feel for what credit card processors merchants in your area are using. If other sales agents are willing to reveal their secrets, ask them as well. Word of mouth can be very powerful.

Do some research online as well, and make sure that you pay attention to what the prospective merchant service company has to offer. In general, look for these traits:

  • They have plenty to offer your clients in terms of POS options.
  • They have reasonable fees, so that you can make a profit and your clients will be motivated to stay with you.
  • They offer service to the type of clients that you cater to. So, for example, if your network of prospective clients are largely in the “high risk” sector, then make sure that your credit card processor is willing to take them on. Otherwise, you are wasting both your and your client’s time.
  • See what kind of compensation the company offers. Make sure that they have lucrative bonuses as well as good residuals. Your residuals will be your long-term passive income coming into your business, so these will matter even after you stop selling merchant services.
  • Make sure that your residuals don’t expire before the client ends their contract due to some sneaky fine print. Some merchant service companies stipulate that you have to close a certain amount of new accounts per month to continue to get your residuals. This can mean that all your money will dry up if you decide to retire. It can also be a struggle when you’re just starting out and haven’t yet gotten any momentum.
  • Make sure that they have a decent training program. You need to know everything about the equipment and software that you’re offering before you sell it, of course. A credit card processor that really cares about your success will offer to train you on everything.
  • Find a company with good customer service. You will be dealing with them a lot, so make sure that they are responsive.


Just do your research, and you will find that this relatively small time investment can pay dividends in the long run.

Posted by: Scott Shaw AT 11:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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Independent sales office of Total Merchant Services: Total Merchant Services is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Concord, CA