Did You Know That Merchant Service Providers Are Regulated?

Merchant Service Providers

Is your credit card company a registered Independent Sales Organization (ISO)?  Are they registered with Visa and Mastercard?  As part of the industry regulations, set forth by Visa and Mastercard, anyone selling merchant services must be affiliated or part of a company that is registered.   As part of those regulations, every company is required to display who they are registered with or who their registered ISO company is.  On every merchant service website, it is required to list who you are a registered ISO with.  Typically, this will be in small print on the bottom of the company’s web page.  If the merchant service provider you are doing business with does not display this information they are more than likely not registered and doing business against the regulations.  If they don’t have it on their website, ask who they are a registered ISO of and if they hesitate or don’t know, your best bet is not to sign with them.

Why is being registered important?

If you work with XYZ Merchant Services and they resell under a specific ISO then they are required to have equal branding/logo placement on their website.  The business cards they carry as well as the promotional materials they give out; all must carry the logo of the registered ISO.  If the company is reselling services on their website with no mention of who they are registered with they are breaking regulations and could face large fines.  It costs $10,000 to become a registered ISO and many months of grueling applications and history checks of personal and business assets.  If an ISO has taken the time to go through this lengthy process, then they are probably worth doing business with.  The fines assessed by Visa and MasterCard are steep.  Many businesses end up shutting their doors to avoid fines and possibly reopening as another company.  Have you ever worked with an individual that signs up your account, then a year later is back in there getting you to sign a different document or agreement a year later?  Avoidance of being registered could be the reason.  If you are one of their customers, you get left out in the cold with no one to call or support you or worse yet, processing for a company that doesn’t even exist anymore.  Obviously, this can be a major problem the next time you have a problem and need someone to help fight for you.

So again, buyers beware!  I have just given you more ammunition to make sure the company you’re doing business with is legitimate.  Beware of that one off agents that open their doors for a week, a month, a year and then take off only to start a new company.  Work with a company that has followed the rules and regulations so you’re not putting your businesses revenue stream at risk of suddenly being cut off or worse yet, being withheld because someone didn’t follow the rules.

Let’s Talk

For additional questions or for more information on this topic, feel free to reach out to us at 602-635-6494 or visit us on the web at www.dfgaz.com.