Best ISO Agent Programs for Selling Merchant Services

Shaw Merchant Group
13 min readOct 13, 2020


APPLY HERE: ISO Agent Application

Updated 11/23/2023 — If you are an aspiring credit card processing agent or ISO, then you should know that one of the most important keys to success in this field is the ISO agent program that you work with. Choosing the right partnership provides you with the resources that you need to make sure that you have success and are able to be competitive when it comes time to selling merchant services to your clients. Shaw Merchant Group is the best choice in the industry with a comprehensive suite of sales tools to help you succeed, and a history of helping our partners achieve success. We’re here to give you all the information that you need when looking for the best compensation in the payments industry.

APPLY HERE: ISO Agent Application

How to Successfully Sell Payment Processing?

There are things that you need to put in place in addition to being hardworking in order to succeed. These tips will help you understand how to become a credit card processor and to easily make $100k per year. In order to make 6 figures in merchant services sales, you need to:

1. Set Your Goal

Just like in any industry, business goals are very important. These help you to be disciplined and stay focused on what you need to do. If you wish to make $9000 per month, then set that as your goal and put it the effort to attain that. If you wish to sign 15 merchants every month, set it as your goal and work towards attaining that.

2. Join the Right ISO Program

The merchant services agent program you join will determine your success. Look for an ISO agent program that provides both the tools and support needed to successfully run your business. Shaw Merchant Group is one of the top-rated ISO agent programs that you can join.

3. Understand Your Product

Ensuring that you understand your merchant products and services is important in helping you stay competitive. The ISO agent program you choose should be in the capacity to provide firsthand information about the credit card processing business. This will help you to stay up to date on selling merchant services and in-turn, attract merchant leads.

4. Manage Your Time

As an independent sales agent, it can be very difficult for you to stay committed to what you do. Remember that you are 100% responsible for your daily tasks. For you to succeed in merchant services, it is critical to stick to your schedule. Divide your time to tackle things such as following up with your leads and finding new leads. If you find it difficult to manage time by yourself, you can use apps and tools to schedule your daily tasks. This will improve your productivity and bring you a step close to making more money.

5. Invest In Referrals

Referrals are very important in helping you grow your merchant services business. This is very effective when starting out as a merchant service provider. Set a strategy to use and follow up with clients so as to get most referrals from every merchant client you get.

APPLY HERE: ISO Agent Application

Why Be Choosy About ISO Agent Programs?

There are several issues that you can face with a credit card processor that can shut your business before it even starts. Here are a few problems agents face with many credit card processors:

· Payment Delays: One of the leading problems that many agents who start a merchant services company face is that their credit card processing company holds payments for too long. Whether for security reasons or for lack of funds, the companies usually pay very late.

· Lack of Support: Many don’t have good agent support. If you need to inquire about something on an urgent basis, you will either have to wait, or you might not get connected even after several attempts.

· No System in Place: For many credit card processors, there is no robust system like a dashboard providing agents with insights to their progress, available funds, and active merchants. This puts a lid on the agent’s ability to improve by monitoring progress.

· Low Profitability: By selling merchant services, agents get commissions and bonuses; however, some merchant processors simply don’t pay very well. Agents get very low payments for the amount of work they put into bringing sales.

· No Attractions: In order to sell, you need to show some attractions to the merchants like upgraded processing software, low fees, and some starting out gifts, and so on. There are many merchant processors who don’t offer much, which can make it difficult for the agent to pitch the program to the merchants.

1. Making Money with Residual Income:

When you sign up a merchant for service, the company will receive a percentage of the amount for every transaction processed via credit cards by that merchant. So as long as the merchant is happy and continues to work with the company, they will get some % of the money from every transaction, and you will get your split from it.

Now speaking of the ‘split,’ the industry average is around 50%. This means if your processor receives, let’s say, $0.10 for a specific transaction and the interchange rate/transaction fee is $0.03, then you should get $0.035 based on 50% sharing of remaining $0.07.

Now, if you let’s say keep bringing 10 merchants a month, then in one year, you have 120 merchants. Let’s say 20 of them closed the business or switched to another processor; then, you are still left with 100 merchants after one year. So with 100 merchants, your per month income should be $100 x 100 = $10,000. Now multiply it by 12, your second year’s income should be $120,000 in just residual commission.

Not a bad commission making $120,000 by the end of your first year, right? And keep in mind, we haven’t even added the merchants you will be bringing for that second year. We are just calculating for the merchants you brought for first year. So this is the basic calculation, you can crunch the numbers as per your goals and see how much you will be making.

2. Making Money with Upfront Bonuses:

We offer a performance-based fast start bonus that is payable for anyone that onboards more than the standard threshold of clients in the first 4 months. This program is designed to reward those experienced sales members that join our team and quickly learn how to sell this product. The bonus can reach up to $20,000, making it one of the most lucrative and competitive in the industry.

We will look at how much profit is generated on the account after they have been processing for one month and you earn 14 times of the total profit. Example: If we retain $100 in residuals in that month, the bonus would be 14 x $100 or $1,400. You would have already been paid $600, so we would pay you an additional $800 on that account. This bonus is capped at a max of $10,000 per merchant per location. With our dual pricing cash discount option it is easier than ever to earn huge bonuses with a 14x profitability bonus. This dual pricing model enables you to maximize your bonus at $10,000 on almost every merchant processing over $90k.

Don’t Just Consider Residual Split

There will be some companies that will offer you a low residual split. However, we suggest that you don’t just look at the split but to also look at your buy rate (Our buy rate = 1.5 cents).

Sometimes, payment processing companies offer things like training resources, ongoing support, and help with leads hunting, all of which are very important things to have if you are just starting out. You need to learn the ropes first, so going with this kind of deal is not bad.

How are they Paying High Residual Split?

Different companies have different methods for calculating the agent’s residual split. We suggest that you don’t just look at things on the surface level. If you are getting an offer of a 50% split and some good upfront bonuses, then that is a good deal. However, things start to get fishy when the deal is too good to be true. Maybe you are offered a very high split, let’s say 70% to 80%, With SMG, you get a true interchange revenue split. Unlike other ISO agent programs, there is no basis points off the top for BIN sponsorship or for what they call hidden losses. Our sales partners earn more residual income with our 50/50 program than you would with our competition who claim to offer a higher percentage because their interchange cost (buy rate) is higher.

If you don’t know, the basis point is a unit of measure in finance where 1bp = 0.01% or 0.0001. So if the company is adding BP to the interchange/transaction fee before calculating the profit, then you won’t really get much money. For instance, the processor gets $0.10 from a transaction, and the original interchange fee is $0.03, but the company adds 120 basis points to it, then it becomes (120x0.0001) + $0.03 = $0.042.

So now, your split will be calculated from $0.058, which will obviously be less. So if you get this kind of offer, ask for the ‘Schedule A,’ which is basically a document containing all the costs charged from you.

So, if you are passionate and persistent enough, you can make a good place in the market and earn a handsome amount. Besides, you would also need to have thick skin to have a growth mindset for all the failures and the competition you encounter in the field. With some hard work, persistence, and passion, you can make a good spot in the industry.

Top 10 Merchant Services Agent Programs

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, these top 10 ISO agent programs have got your back. We’ll dive into their features, benefits, and why they stand out from the crowd. Buckle up, get your sales game face on, and let’s explore the best opportunities for maximizing your merchant services sales!

Introduction to Merchant Services

Merchant services are an essential tool for businesses looking to streamline their payment processes and increase their revenue. With the help of a merchant services agent, businesses can begin accepting payments from customers and other businesses efficiently and securely. The role of a merchant services agent is pivotal as they provide the necessary expertise and guidance to ensure that businesses have access to fast and reliable payment processing solutions. By utilizing merchant services, businesses can offer their customers a seamless payment experience, improving their overall satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, merchant services enable businesses to handle various payment methods, such as credit cards and mobile payments, allowing them to cater to a broader customer base. In this ever-evolving digital age, having reliable merchant services has become a necessity for businesses to remain competitive and effectively manage their financial transactions.

Merchant services play a crucial role in streamlining payment processing for businesses. By utilizing these services, businesses can process payments instantly, eliminating any waiting time for transactions to be completed. This efficiency ensures that customers can pay without experiencing any delays or having to go through additional steps. When it comes to becoming a credit card processing agent, it is important to understand the benefits of merchant services in order to effectively promote and provide these services to businesses. By offering swift payment processing solutions, merchants can enhance their customer experience and ultimately boost their bottom line.

Finally, merchant services not only provide seamless integrations with accounting software, enabling businesses to conveniently monitor their payments and streamline financial management, but they also offer a merchant services agent program. This program allows individuals to become authorized agents for merchant service providers, allowing them to earn commissions by referring businesses to these services. By becoming a merchant services agent, one can take advantage of the growing demand for efficient payment processing solutions and capitalize on the opportunities in the market. With the convenience of integrations and the potential for financial gain through the agent program, merchant services present a comprehensive and lucrative solution for businesses of all sizes.

Evaluating the Top 10 ISO Agent Programs

When assessing the top 10 ISO agent programs in the realm of merchant services, it is crucial to carefully evaluate key factors like their offerings and customer service. This comprehensive evaluation not only encompasses the examination of the payment processing technology they offer but also the type of customer service support they provide. By thoroughly scrutinizing their payment processing partnerships, including their capabilities, reliability, and security measures, businesses can make informed decisions to ensure seamless and efficient payment transactions. Additionally, considering the level of customer service support offered by ISO agent programs is vital in guaranteeing prompt assistance and a satisfactory experience for merchants. By keeping these factors in mind, businesses can identify the most suitable ISO agent program that aligns with their unique payment processing needs and customer service expectations.

Furthermore, when evaluating different merchant services providers, it is crucial to thoroughly consider the overall cost associated with each ISO agent program. This includes not only transaction fees but also any setup costs and additional add-on services they may offer. By carefully assessing these factors, businesses can ensure that they are selecting a program that aligns with their budget and financial goals. Additionally, it is essential to examine the reputation of the ISO agent program within the industry. A provider’s track record and standing among merchants can provide valuable insights into their level of reliability and trustworthiness. Lastly, the ability of an ISO agent program to swiftly get merchants up and running with their services is a significant factor to consider. The speed and efficiency with which a program can onboard new customers can directly impact a business’s ability to seamlessly integrate payment processing into their operations. By taking all of these considerations into account, businesses can make an informed decision when choosing the most suitable ISO agent program for their merchant services needs.

Benefits of Utilizing a Merchant Services Agent Program

A merchant services agent program is an incredibly beneficial option for businesses, especially due to the lower transaction fees associated with it. By utilizing such a program, businesses can significantly reduce the amount of money they have to pay in processing costs, ultimately boosting their profitability. This is particularly advantageous when it comes to payment processing partnerships, as these programs offer businesses the opportunity to collaborate with trusted partners who specialize in efficient and cost-effective payment handling. By forming strong payment processing partnerships, businesses can optimize their financial operations, ensuring that they can focus on their core activities while benefiting from reduced transaction fees and increased profitability.

Additionally, by joining a merchant services agent program, not only do businesses gain access to a range of features that enhance payment convenience and security, but they also open up new opportunities for entrepreneurs to become credit card processing agents themselves. This program provides individuals with the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to establish their own successful credit card processing business. As a credit card processing agent, one can offer businesses the same suite of features that simplify the payment process, including advanced fraud protection and effective customer support tools. By becoming a credit card processing agent through a merchant services agent program, individuals can contribute to making payments easier and more secure while also building their own successful venture in the field.

Choosing the Right Program for Maximizing Your Sales

When it comes to maximizing your sales, choosing the right merchant services agent program is essential. A good program should provide reliable payment processing, risk-management, and fraud protection services, as well as 24/7 customer support. One way to ensure you are selecting a reputable provider is by becoming a Registered ISO (Independent Sales Organization). Becoming a Registered ISO allows you to offer merchant services to businesses and earn commissions on their credit card transactions. By partnering with a recognized ISO, you gain access to their established network, technology, and expertise. This enables you to offer your clients a seamless payment experience while benefiting from the guidance and support of an experienced provider. To become a Registered ISO, you must meet certain criteria set by the credit card associations and go through an application process. This typically involves providing business documents, financial information, and completing training programs. Once approved, you can start building your portfolio of merchants and helping them grow their sales through efficient payment processing. Choosing to become a Registered ISO demonstrates your commitment to providing top-notch merchant services and sets you apart as a trustworthy partner in the industry.

APPLY HERE: ISO Agent Application

Moreover, when considering merchant services partner programs, it is crucial to take into account the various fees associated with each program, including transaction fees, monthly charges, and additional fees imposed by the provider. By carefully evaluating these costs, you can ensure that the program you choose offers competitive rates and reasonable terms that align with your business needs. Additionally, as a credit card processing agent, understanding the fee structure and value proposition of different merchant services providers becomes even more important. By selecting a provider that not only offers attractive rates but also provides comprehensive support, advanced technology, and efficient processing solutions, you can maximize the value you offer to merchants. Ultimately, with the right merchant services program and a strong understanding of how to become a credit card processing agent, you can position yourself as a trusted advisor who assists businesses in optimizing their payment processing capabilities and growing their revenue streams.

To Conclude

In conclusion, if you’re looking to elevate your merchant services sales career, the top 10 ISO agent programs mentioned in this here are the ultimate game-changers. These programs not only offer exceptional features and benefits but also have a proven track record of success in the industry. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, these programs are designed to support and empower you to reach new heights. So, don’t hesitate to dive in, explore their offerings, and seize the opportunities that await you. With these top-tier ISO agent programs by your side, there’s no limit to the success you can achieve in maximizing your merchant services sales!



Shaw Merchant Group

At Shaw Merchant Group we specialize in merchant services agent and ISO development. We are a group of experienced payment processing industry professionals.