- Work in progress
- This is an overview of our own internal approach to sales. As we continue to refine this process, information will be added and revised.
The typical industry approach
- Ask a merchant for their merchant statement.
- Analyze the merchant statement to find the disclosed fees and the hidden fees.
- Remove one of the hidden fees, leaving the rest.
- Win the merchant's business by exposing the one hidden fee and slightly undercutting the merchant’s disclosed fees.
- Introduce more hidden fees into a merchant statement over the course of the merchant’s contract.
The merchant switches to the new ISO because they believe they are getting a better price but they are actually still being overcharged via hidden fees. This creates a cycle of distrust that eventually leads to a merchant starting back at step 1 of the process with a new ISO when their contract is up.
- Merchants do not understand what they are paying or why: Merchant statements can be so complicated that most merchants do not even know that they are being charged hidden fees.
- Merchants are not priced fairly: The new ISO’s disclosed pricing is only intended to be slightly better than the merchant’s current ISO’s pricing. This new pricing is frequently not the lowest price that an ISO can afford to offer the merchant and any savings offered on the disclosed pricing is frequently just shifted to a hidden fee in the merchant statement, thus making the total cost to the merchant the same or higher as before.
- Merchants are forced to sign long, onerous contracts: This sales process is long and difficult. ISOs spend a lot of time trying to get a merchant on the phone and even then, they spend more time convincing a merchant to hunt down a merchant statement just to begin this process of analyzing merchant statements (and importantly before offering any pricing). The result is that the length of this process indirectly increases the price the merchant is charged by the ISO and the length of the merchant’s contract. This means that the longer it takes for an ISO to sign up a merchant, the higher the sales costs for the ISO and the longer and more onerous the merchant's contract becomes.
The TransparencyX approach
- Offer a merchant calibrated pricing up-front without ever needing to see a merchant statement.
- We use our proprietary industry pricing database to calculate the fair market pricing that the merchant deserves. This database takes into account the merchant's entire profile -- such as the annual volume, average ticket size, type of business -- and compares it to the pricing for actual merchants of similar merchant profiles.
- If the merchant is interested, they have 48 hours to respond with a merchant statement.
- The purpose of this merchant statement is to confirm that the merchant profile submitted is accurate.
- If our calibrated rate is not better than what the merchant is currently paying, we give the merchant a gift card and use the merchant statement data to update our database to be more accurate in the future.
- Complete transparency: Our sales process is focused on helping merchants understand what they are paying and why.
- More efficient pricing for merchants: We offer pricing that fits a merchant's profile instead of trying to take advantage of a merchant's previous pricing. Additionally by offering a calibrated rate up-front and giving merchants a limited amount of time to decide, we shorten our sales process. A shorter and more efficient sales process enables us to lower our sales costs and offer better prices to merchants.
- Contract flexibility for merchants: A faster and more efficient sales process means that we do not need to lock merchants into onerous contracts in order to recoup our sales costs.