Best Merchant Service Providers
If you are shopping for a new merchant account, you’ve no doubt seen there are hundreds of credit card processing companies to choose from.
“What is the difference between one merchant services provider and another???“
If you listen to reviews on the Internet, they’re aren’t any good credit card processing companies, and they are all scams and rip off companies. This is simply not true, to understand the topic completely you need to understand how credit card processing works, and how merchant services are marketed.
A credit card processing account allows a business owner to accept an electronic form of payment from a customer such as a credit card, debit card or gift card. In the late 1970’s when credit cards were just entering the marketplace, the banking institution that is now known as Bank of America was the sole provider and processor of credit cards. At that time they operated under the name BankAmericard which later became an association of banks known as Visa.
As the popularity of credit cards grew, the banks quickly realized that the logistics of processing electronic transactions and the need for increased fraud protection and technology upgrades would require sperate credit card processing companies to be formed. These companies would provide the technological “platforms” and processing facilities needed to support one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.
Today there are 3 main credit card processing companies that provide all of the platforms for all of the credit card transactions in the world. First Data Corporation (FDC) owns roughly 85% of the market share, while Global (GPN) is 2nd and Total Systems Services (TSS) also known as TSYS is 3rd with a very close division of market share.
The banks and the credit card processing companies also realized that their sales staff could not support the needs of the millions of business owners across the country that were requiring the service and hardware needed to accept this new form of payment that was showing up in customers wallets and purses.
Banks created a sales structure based on the insurance agent model. This eventually grew to the ISO model, or “Independent Sales Office” model. Individuals were given an opportunity to register with the card issuing associations Visa and MasterCard (which is a group of banks) once approved, they could begin marketing the credit card processing services of the sponsoring bank, under their own brand name.
This created hundreds of new “credit card processing companies” almost over night. The credit card processing ISO’s could negotiate different buy rates over what is called “Interchange”. Interchange is the true cost of the transaction, as provided by the associations, Visa and MasterCard. This is the cost that banks have to pay and that every processing entity must pay. The more volume the ISO’s did, the better their buy rates and deals from the banks and credit card processing companies.
During the growth of the industry, it has been witness to some companies that had less than ethical business practices, and that’s being nice. In the past many processing ISO’s would lease in-expensive credit card processing equipment to business owners for thousands and thousands of dollars. They were often locked into 4 year contracts with outrageous cancellation fees.
Thankfully the industry has changed and the market has weeded out most of the scams and con artists. Most of the major companies today offer free credit card machines, no cancellation fee options and top notch customer service.
Here at First American Merchant we offer a unique solution. You can speak with our advisers and shop the rates and offers of ALL the top credit card processing companies and ISO’s to find the best rate and the best technological fit for your business.
Why would you sign up with us and not directly through the processor or ISO?
1. We are not biased
We will give you an honest recommendation of the best processor for your business. You won’t have to worry about the processing company lying to you about it’s rates and fees.
2. Our No Cancellation Fee – 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
If you’re ever not happy with your processor or ISO, if the rates change, or if you want new equipment, or whatever the reason. We’ll switch you to a new provider within our network free of charge, and you’ll incur NO CANCELLATION FEES. Regardless of your contract with the processor or ISO.