The ability to accept credit card payments is important for any business. The right merchant service provider can help you set it up. Look closely at your options, the fees, the equipment you have to buy or rent, and other variables. You need a provider you can count on! You can go with a third party, referred to as an ISO.

This stands for Independent Sales Organization, and it is worth looking at. Always confirm the company is legitimate. Don’t get scammed or sign up with an entity that isn’t offering you value. Compare services, prices, and other details to find the best ISO merchant services to fulfill your needs.

What is an ISO? 

An ISO – or Independent Sales Organization – is a third-party payment processing company that is authorized to handle merchant accounts for businesses. These types of organizations sometimes get a bad reputation, and in some cases, business owners feel like it is better to go with a large banking institution for their payment processing. This is not always the better option, as ISOs are typically more flexible and easier to work with than large banks, and are just as structured, safe, and secure.

The value of the service is only as good as the provider. The best ISO providers work hard to establish great relationships. They have worked hard to obtain authorization to be a third party for credit card transactions and work closely with card issuers as well as business owners. They strive to offer the best security possible.

The risk of data breaches is always around us, and the system has to protect against it. Evaluate the ISO merchant services and what they deliver for security. They should have measures in place offering layers of security against data being compromised. For example, they may require a two-step authorization to lower the risk of fraud charges.

Thankfully, the guidelines continue to get stricter for ISO providers. This reduces the risk of scams and keeps the bar high. Those that desire to become a merchant service provider have to uphold the requirements. Otherwise, they won’t get approved. Once they get approved, they don’t want that authority to be revoked so they strive to offer outstanding service. All ISO merchants have to be sponsored by a member bank.

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Identify what your Business Needs

Each type of business is unique. What you offer and how you offer it can affect the options you need. Don’t pay for services you won’t use but don’t shortchange what is extended if your customers and your business can benefit from it. Ask plenty of questions too if you aren’t sure what you need.

Since your business is going to change and grow with time, it makes sense to secure ISO merchant services that will too. The provider should give you the flexibility to make necessary changes to your account when you need to. Don’t get locked into something long-term you outgrow.

What to Expect

Any ISO is a 3rd party provider. They are in place to handle your credit card transactions. When you set up a merchant account with them, they can help you get the payment processing set up. This includes the equipment you need for in-person payments or any software necessary for online payments.

You may be wary at first of an ISO; some of them don’t have the best reputation. That is true of any type of business though. Conduct research and find the best provider out there for your needs. This helps you eliminate scams and those other business owners have had issues with. Read the reviews online to help you narrow it down.

An ISO can offer you more value than a large banking institution when it comes to merchant services. If your business is considered high risk, the larger banking institutions may not approve your application. As long as you verify the structure and security of an ISO before you work with them you have nothing to worry about.

Most business owners appreciate this type of setup. The ISO merchant services tend to offer more flexibility. They also work with businesses of all sizes. They can give you the one-on-one attention you need to get started. Plus, most of them have excellent reviews for their customer service. They don’t leave you hanging when you have questions or concerns.

Save Money

The ISO route is going to save you money. The fees for credit card transactions tend to be lower than a large banking institution. However, you don’t want to trade value to save a bit of money. Make sure the ISO merchant service provider can offer you the complete package. This includes exceptional service, a high level of security, and low cost. It is a good idea to compare services and cost with other entities to see who has the best value for your business.

Watch out for hidden fees from any merchant service provider. While they have to fully disclose that information, many business owners fail to read the details. Then they are upset when they see the fees adding up. Some charge you for the monthly statements and other costs that aren’t necessary. Look for an ISO merchant provider that doesn’t take advantage of you with extra fees.

Payment Processing

How soon will you have access to your money with that ISO? Such information is important to know in advance. If they don’t get the funds to you quickly, it can create some cash flow problems for your business. Find a provider that processes the funds to your account quickly so you can access it when you need to.


The provider should offer monthly statements for you to review about your merchant account. Daily reports and specialized reports should be something you can get access to online. Being able to review transactions on your account regularly is important. It is a good idea to find out what reports are offered before you sign up with any ISO provider. Ask about any fees associated with creating or accessing those reports too.

ISO Merchant Services you can count on

With the right ISO merchant services in place, you can accept credit card payments from your customers. You can reduce the risk of data breaches and fraudulent use of credit cards when the provider has the best security in place. Find a provider with reasonable prices, services available for your business to benefit from, and a desire to continue to meet your needs as they change with time.


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