Life can be complicated. Each day brings new challenges, complexities and, sometimes, confusion. Fortun-ately, we have age-old tenets to guide us. One of them is The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
The philosophy of All Card Processing-AAmonte-USA can be summed up in that simple rule. ACP is committed to treating agents well and taking care of merchants, too.
Steve Christianson, ACP's co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "If you are an honest person who wants to make an honest living and be able to have a good family life, then we are someone you can come and talk to … We take care of our reps."
Founded in 2003, ACP is a registered ISO for Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC. Headquartered in La Quinta, Calif., it has more than 25 independent contractors working from their own offices nationwide.
Using the independent sales channel, ACP provides services to all types of merchants, including restaurants, MO/TO, e-commerce, business-to-business and mobile.
ACP provides credit and debit transaction processing, check truncation and guarantee programs, and gift card programs.
Christianson said the bulk of the company's income is from credit card processing. Thus, that is where its primary focus is.
"The other services are add-ons as demanded by our merchant base, and we accommodate their individual requests," he said.
"ACP's recent sales volume is in excess of $500 million in annual processing."
Before co-founding ACP, Christian-son had 18 years of payments industry experience, which included co-founding and co-owning several registered ISOs.
"I specialize in rep training," he said. "I have been in the merchant processing business as a rep and owner since 1989."
With a dedicated staff of well-trained professionals, ACP's management team is centered around Stephanie Jones, Operations Manager. Jones has been in ISO operations management since the 1990s.
Cheryl Wilson, who has more than 20 years of industry experience, is the company's chargeback and customer service specialist.
Christianson pointed out that ACP agents are paid well and on time. Reps are compensated based on a percentage of total profits.
This ranges from 35% to 70%, depending upon the agent's volume and number of sales offices in the group. "We make good money and enjoy steady growth," Christianson said, adding that ACP is currently adding 75 to 100 new merchant accounts per month.
He noted that residual income is the basis of ACP's compensation program, and some reps are making as much as $25,000 a month in residuals.
"The income potential is unlimited," he said. "It is only limited by the MLS's or agent's own work ethic and time put in the business."
Christianson and ACP's other principals support agents while fostering their independence. After all, independence is what attracted most MLSs to this industry.
"We allow them [MLSs] to create a business of their own, assisting and advising them with what they need to do in order to become successful and realize a large, steady residual income," Christianson said.
In the ultra-competitive payments industry, most agents work well over 40 hours per week and are always available. Some even sense that, as an MLS, you should never be "off the clock." However, part of independence is choosing your own priorities.
Having spent nine years as an independent agent, Christianson understands the choices MLSs and ISOs face and encourages them to make the choices that benefit them personally and professionally.
"When I first started, I saw the residuals, and knew I would be able to go do work once and get paid over and over again," he said. "I was able to go to every gymnastics event, baseball game and choir performance as my children grew up.
"All my kids graduated college and never came home to an empty house because we set our own schedules." Christianson encourages his reps to achieve the same healthy work/life balance.
Christianson said ACP's emphasis on customer service has been integral to the company's success.
"When we sign a new merchant account, we can guarantee that rep that he will never lose a merchant because of poor service in our office," Christianson said.
He reported that ACP's annual merchant attrition rate is between 2% and 3%, and many merchants have been with ACP since the company's inception. All incoming customer service calls are answered by a human being – in less than two rings. Hold times are usually less than one minute.
"Our office staff is cross-trained, so all of them can key applications, handle customer service calls, assist in downloads and technical issues and so on, on an as-needed basis," Christianson said.
As part of customer service, ACP offers chargeback assistance specialists who are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The company also offers customized reports. Merchants can access daily, weekly and monthly Web reporting, or they can receive reports directly via e-mail. Additionally, ACP operates two regional processing centers in different parts of the country. ACP serves merchants across the United States and deliberately decided not to venture into Canada or beyond.
"There are so many different facets in this industry," Christianson said. "You can become a Wal-Mart and you end up not giving good service in any of them. We've picked our strong point: customer service resulting in high retention levels."
ACP's efforts on behalf of merchants also help agents. "We do everything we can in-house to support the merchant and the rep, so attrition is minimal," Christianson said.
Knowing that MLSs are the lifeblood of the industry, ACP is interested in talking to agents who share the company's values.
"If an agent is looking for a home, he should really give us a call," Christianson said. "We try to keep it simple for the reps so they can concentrate on prospecting and sales."
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President and CEO
P.O. Box 1683
La Quinta, CA 92247
Web site: www.allcardpro.com