Business Idea: Selling Merchant Accounts

December 6, 2006 | By | 10 Replies More

One business you can do from home, whether full time or part time, is to sell merchant accounts. There are a number of merchant account providers, including big companies such as Card Service International or smaller outfits such as Vantage Card Services.

In this business, you tap businesses accepting credit cards processing to use your merchant account provider or to shift to your provider in case they are already using another provider. Basically, you’re a salesman.


But merchant account salesman is not an easy work. You have to know business owners — which is not an easy task. You can’t just go into a nail salon or restaurant or dry cleaner and ask them to change their credit card merchant provider. Many businesses are against soliciting, so you’d be turned away right at the door.

To get accounts, the business owner must be familiar with you, know you, or you must come in highly recommended. If you have contacts with a lot of business owners — e.g. you are a member of a business networking group — then this would be a great fit for you. For example, getting restaurant owners to shift their credit card processing entails a lot of dining and wining in that restaurant – just so owner get to see you and become familiar with you (they are more likely going to give you the business if you are their loyal customer). You need to win the trust of the business owner — before they give to you their merchant account bill so you can analyze where you can help them save money.

Your earnings will depend on the profit of the merchant account provider after paying off the fees of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and other credit card companies. What typically happens is that Visa for example sets a rate, and the merchant account provider gives a higher rate to their customers. That difference is their profit — and you as their salesman, will only get a percentage of that profit.

It’s not a flat commission, but your earnings will depend on the profitability of the account. Note though that your income depends on the sales volume of the business owner and the rates that you’ve given said business owner. The problem lies on the fact that this is a very competitive business, and you cannot give the business owner a high rate. In fact, if you’re trying to win the business owner, your presentation will focus on how much they will save if they use you instead of their current provider — so you lower the rate that was given to them or you remove some of the extra fees that are typically charged. As a result, profitability of the account becomes smaller and your earnings are smaller.

For example, your customer is a convenience store owner whose credit card sales volume amount to $35,000 per month. It wouldn’t be too far fetched to earn only $45-$100 a month from this account. Hence to make a lot of money from this business, you need to have a lot of accounts.

One thing to watch out in this business is the requirement for landing new accounts. I’ve seen merchant account providers that require their sales people to have at least one sale every quarter — otherwise commissions from previous sales will be forfeited. Imagine if you already have 100 accounts earning you a couple of thousands a month, and you laid low in that quarter, then boom — that earning will disappear!

Choose a company that you know offers good rates to their clients as well as salespeople. Be sure to look at how well they support their sales people, especially in the implementation and hookup of the new credit card processing system when the business owner changes to your company. Also check how many salespeople they already have in a particular location, so you won’t have to compete with other salespeople from your company.

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Business Idea: Selling Merchant Accounts, 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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Category: Business Ideas

About the Author ()

Isabel Isidro is the co-founder of PowerHomeBiz.com. A mom of three boys, avid vintage postcard collector, frustrated scrapbooker, she also manages Women Home Business, Starting Up Tips and Learning from Big Boys.

Comments (10)

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  1. Florence says:

    Thank God! Someone with brains speaks!

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  2. Thanks for confirming it. At first glance just looking at the pool of potential clients — businesses that accept credit card transactions — it seems like an easy business to get into. But this is a relationship game. No one will hand to you the lifeline of their business because they don’t know you or your company well enough to change their credit card processing systems. The potential customer has to know you, and understand that you are trustworthy and better than their previous provider. It’s a hard business.

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  3. calie cater says:

    Selling merchant accounts is not an easy task by any means. It takes hours of work, a strong knowledge of the payment processing industry, dedication, and the ability to be told ‘NO’ many times and still keeping at it.

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  4. Yes, it’s true that working on merchant account selling is very difficult if you aren’t familiar with the people you are targeting. Not all merchant account sellers are effective and successful in their way of offering the services. If you want to earn more in selling merchant account, try to build more friends first and offer the services.

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  5. way2earns says:

    To sign-up for a free merchant account, you should first find a free merchant account provider, fill out the application form, and confirm the account to get it activated.

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  6. mountain bicycle says:

    To help in must have been a amazing place of responsibility. It truly is helpful for all of. Credit rating regarding expressing to be able to be of assistance piece.

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  7. random guy says:

    you can make a ton of money selling to small businesses. i started up with capital bankcard a few months ago and i’m really enjoying it! check them out!

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  8. Adam @ online payments says:

    It is a little like micro-financing, and is something that you have to work at very hard in the beginning (getting all the accounts), but once you have it you can start to relax a little and watch the money role in.

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  9. Merchant Accounts says:

    How are you doing? Great job on your blog.
    It is very informative and to the point.
    I am giving it 5 stars and look forward to reading more in the future.
    By the way, Would you like to have a link trading with me?
    Looking forward to your reply.Thank you!

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  10. Merchant Accounts says:

    Hi, i like your blog, it’s so cool.
    And want to have a link trading with you, look forward to your reply.
    Thank you

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