How You Can Become a Merchant Services Provider
Breaking Down the Process
The process of becoming a merchant services provider can be broken down into three main parts. If you are able to follow these main parts of the process, then you will have more success and a much easier time making sure you are setting your merchant services business for success. Here are the three main components of any plan to become a merchant services provider and what you can expect within each part of the process.
Preparation & Paperwork
The first step to making sure your merchant services business has the foundation that it needs is the preparation & paperwork stage. In this stage, you will be filling out and filing the necessary paperwork as well as creating a business plan. This lays a strong foundation for your business that will help you to go through all the other steps more seamlessly.
Create a Business Plan
The first thing that you will want to do is to create a business plan for your merchant services provider business. This will include things like your services, strategy, outlook, and other details that are relevant to your business. Creating a high-quality business plan will lay the foundation and roadmap for your business that will help you to clearly envision what you are trying to achieve and ensure that you have a document to refer to when you need guidance.
Incorporate Your Business
The next step once you have created the idea for your business is to incorporate your business. This means that you will be going through the proper federal and state channels to register your business as the correct type of venture. This is a very important step, as it will ensure you are compliant with all registration and paperwork requirements with governing bodies.
Connection & Contract
Once you have the paperwork foundation laid for your merchant services provider business, the next step is to start making the business arrangements that you need in order to actually provide your services. For merchant services providers, these arrangements are numerous, so you want to be sure that you are being diligent and have all the right arrangements in place. Here are some of the connections and contracts that you will have to enter into.
Request Approval From Discover
When you are a merchant services provider, you will have to make sure that you have gained acceptance from all the major credit cards to provide processing for these cards. Discover is undoubtedly one of the most important that you will work with in your time as a merchant services provider. To process payments with Discover, you will have to request approval through a meeting with a Discover representative. This will also give you access to Diner’s Club and others.
Register With Visa & Mastercard
Visa & Mastercard are probably the two most important payment networks in the world. You will have to request approval from these two networks if you hope to provide merchant services. Luckily, this has become a standardized process that is not very difficult to navigate.
Apply With PCI Data Security
PCI Data Security is the organization that is responsible for verifying data security and ensuring that merchant services providers are compliant with regulations that ensure consumer data is safe and secure. You will have to register and apply with PCI Data Security to gain a trusted status as a merchant services provider.
Obtain a Payment Terminal Partner
Once you have all the prior steps done, it is time to obtain a merchant services partner. All of the work that you have done on the digital side to ready your business to process payments will have been for nothing if you are not able to obtain a payment terminal partner that facilitates these payments and is the physical vehicle for the electronic side of payment processing.
Marketing & Business
When you have laid all the foundations of paperwork, agreements, registrations, and contracts out, the marketing & business side of being a merchant services provider is what remains. Many consider this to be the most difficult part, but luckily there is a proven blueprint for getting yourself started. Here are the steps that you should take if you are looking to kickstart your business and get started with marketing your merchant service business.
The first step to marketing your merchant services business effectively is establishing your online presence by putting up a website and other digital properties such as social media. Make sure to dedicate time and attention to these efforts to ensure you are able to launch marketing initiatives and other campaigns based on your online presence.
Literature & Marketing Materials
The next step is to start acquiring literature and marketing materials for your merchant services business. These will help you to connect with others and provide them with easy-to-access information about your business. With the right literature and marketing materials in hand, you’ll be able to effortlessly provide your customers with the information that they need about your business and services.
When you have all of your marketing efforts organized and the resources that you need on hand, then you are ready to start the process of client outreach and making sales. Make sure that you can establish a reliable funnel of leads and convert them with a high-quality sales team. This is the key to success in merchant services sales.