Becoming an ISO
Would you kindly furnish the info, or steer me in the right direction, on procedures and costs to become an ISO? Also, can you furnish the name and contact on the Northeast Acquirers Association?
We recommend several resources that can provide guidance on becoming an ISO, including reading material, online forums and networking.
The Green Sheet archives contain myriad articles about the ISO business model. You might begin with Brandes Elitch's "Financing business startups: What ISOs should know," published Dec. 13, 2010, in issue 10:12:01.
Another relevant article is Dee Karawadra's "Ruminations on ISO registration," which we published July 9, 2007, in issue 07:07:01. He penned our Street SmartsSM column from April 2007 to May 2008.
In addition, Michael Nardy, who wrote Street Smarts from April 2006 through March 2007, frequently addressed the topic. Check out his three-part series, "What is registration anyway?" published in issues 06:04:02, 06:05:01 and 06:05:02, respectively, as well as his two-part series, "The ins and outs of ISOship" published in issues 06:12:01 and 06:12:02, respectively.
To find more articles, use our Fast Finder search engine below our logo in the upper left-hand side of our home page (www.greensheet.com). Entering one term in the search field and clicking submit will take you to a landing page where you can add a second term or phrase to refine your search. It will produce a list of articles containing the exact terms typed, not related terms. So you'll need to try several combinations for best results.
Other organizations that can help in your research include Merchant University, www.merchantuniversity.org; Field Guide Enterprises LLC, www.gofieldguide.com, and The Electronic Transactions Association, www.electran.org.
You can post your questions about the advantages and disadvantages of becoming an ISO on GS Online's MLS Forum. You'll need to register to participate. Do so by clicking Register Today! in the upper right-hand corner of our home page and following the prompts.
Many payment professionals also participate in LinkedIn groups dedicated to various aspects of the payments industry. One that may be of interest to you is the ISO Coalition. To tap this resource, just go to www.linkedin.com and begin searching for industry-related terms.
The primary contact for the Northeast Acquirers Association is:
11 Westman Street
Somersworth, NH 03878
The NEAA, other regional acquirers associations and the ETA all hold meetings at least annually. These tradeshows draw a mix of payment professionals, from newbies to veterans who've been involved in the industry since its inception. You'll experience educational presentations, expert panels, product demonstrations and much more while enjoying camaraderie with folks who have built ISOs and are willing to help others do the same.
Also, if you have a solid working relationship working as a merchant level salesperson for an established ISO, ask folks at your ISO for guidance. If they run a reputable outfit, they'll likely be happy to help.
And it goes without saying that when forming an ISO, it is wise to consult an attorney who knows the industry to make sure you set it up properly. We have several payment attorneys listed in our "2011 Buyers Guide," GSQ, Vol. 14, No. 1, www.greensheet.com/gsq_pdfs/gsqv14n1.pdf .
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