The Ever-Changing Credit Card Processing Business

May 16, 2012 by  Filed under: Credit 

In the ever-evolving credit card processing business, it’s important that we are ready should the rules of the game change. In fact, there have been multiple changes over the past couple of years, including the Durbin Amendment and the most recent Visa updates – including the addition of the FANF fee.

Expect Change in Top Rated Merchant Services
It’s pretty safe to stay that in our industry the most successful players have found a way to both deal with change as well as accept it. Due to the youth of this industry and the product offering, there’s no doubt that change should be expected.

A Brief History
In the beginning, we could expect to see new evolution in the credit card processing business every three to six months. For example, terminals became obsolete due to the growing data demands. As time went on, change didn’t come quite as often, but still occurred and needed to be taken seriously. There was a movement toward more computer-based services and a new standard of data collection for future use.

Along with the technological advancements creating change, we’ve seen a shift in our products as well, with fluctuating costs and the introduction of more interchange categories. Our data demands have also grown.

When these rules change, even top-rated merchant service companies go through three stages. Let’s take a quick look into what happens each time a change occurs.

1. Question the Change
You’ll need to start by asking yourself the five basic questions. Who set the new rule? What, exactly does it entail? When will this change be taking place? Where will the impact be? Why was this change necessary?

Unfortunately, these questions can be tough to answer, especially when you don’t have access to the original source. It becomes a game of asking around until you get the information you’re looking for.

2. Revolt
The second phase is the revolt phase. Without being given a direct answer to your question or a reason behind the change, it can ultimately lead to a revolt. When this happens, it becomes an emotional situation for those involved. It’s best to not let it become all consuming, and instead think rationally about what the next best move is for your business.

3. Adapt
While others are busy resisting, you’d be better off adapting as quickly as possible. Doing so will put you in the know and in the lead in terms of understanding new policy.

The more experience you gain in the credit card processing business, the quicker you’ll make it through these phases – putting you in a good position to capitalize on changes.

Jeff Fortney is Vice President of ISO Channel Management at Clearent™. His financial services career stretches back over 35 years, with the last 17 focused on the debit and credit card processing industry. Clearent is an experienced credit card processing business providing passionate service that people don’t really expect anymore. Find out if any of our top rated merchant services can help you improve sales.

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