Business Opportunity Starting a Credit Card Processing Company


It is estimated that around 100 billion transactions happen every year through credit card. That means the credit card processing company can make huge bucks every month from residuals. But working in the credit card industry is not as easy as you think. There are a lot of moving parts involve when knowing how to start a merchant processing company. If you want to become a payment service provider, you need to do many things to join the credit card industry. Let’s have a look together about the merchant service business opportunities.

The Credit Card Processing Industry

When you pursue your career as a merchant services agent, you build a relationship with the banks, payment gateway devices, merchants, and credit card machine developers. When the clients process their credit card transactions, you can charge the fee, which will be your residuals. Let’s see what the main elements in credit card processing are.

Consumer: The one who makes the purchase and has a credit card.

Merchant: The merchant is the business owner who sells services or products.

Payment gateway: It is a technology that connects the payment process company to merchants.

Credit card processor: When you are work in the credit card industry, you are a credit card processor. You will work as a communicator between the card network, merchant, and bank of the consumer to make sure that the transactions comply with the Data Security Standards of the Payment Card Industry.

Card network: This is the credit card brand that the consumers use e.g., American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and others.

Issuing bank: The issuing bank is the bank of the cardholder. It checks to ensure that the consumer’s account has funds and releases them for settlement.

Merchant bank: This is the merchant’s bank, where he will have the account through which funds will move to the transactions the Credit Card Processing Reseller agent process.

Facilitation and Communication

If you have decided to start your career in the credit card industry, you will be a facilitator among the merchant and card network and card holder’s bank. The authorization, settlement, and funding are involved in this process.

  • The merchant process the credit card payment of consumer though a payment gateway
  • Then the merchant sends the request to the credit card payment processor for the payment authorization.
  • The credit card payment processor then submits the transactions to the credit card network like Visa, American Express, finally reaching the issuing bank.
  • The issuing bank declines or approves the credit card transaction and sends this status to the merchant through the payment processor and credit card network.
  • Then, the payment processor receives the authorized transaction batches from the merchant.
  • The payment processor passes these details to the issuing bank through the card network.
  • Some charges are deducted from the account of the consumer by the issuing bank, and these funds are transferred to the merchant’s account minus the interchanging fees.

What Is PCI Compliance?

If you want to be the part of the ISO agent program, you must understand PCI compliance. The PCI compliance is the set of practices you should follow to comply with the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards). As a ISO agent, you should be offering:

  • The equipment and software for PCI-compliant processing such as point-of-sale systems, payment gateways, terminals, and more.
  • Quarterly network susceptibility scans
  • Help in filling the self-assessment questionnaire.

Fees and Processing

When you offer PCI DSS equipment and software, you can make huge bucks by charging a fee for each transaction’s processing. You can purchase wholesale buy rates and sell them to the merchants at a slightly higher rater to make your money.

Before You Start

If you are going to start a digital payments company, find the niche that makes you stand out. There are many payment processing companies like Shaw Merchant Group, but you can’t compete with them initially. All you need to develop is a customer base in order to establish a long term relationship with the local business owners. For instance, if you are working in the food services, you can cultivate a strong relationship with the restaurateurs.

Research the Market

In order to make a great start in the credit card industry, research the local market, and see what sectors are booming. If your skills and experience can match these promising sectors, find the services these sectors are using. You can conduct the free survey to find out either the merchant is satisfied with the existing services on the ten-point scale. You can send them the survey results on their email address. It is a good way to get insight into the local market and the merchants’ contact information in your area.

Start Fresh or Franchise

You have to decide whether you will be starting a merchant processing company from purchasing into a franchise or from scratch. When you start fresh, that means you need to complete paperwork, pay startup costs, insurance fees, build relationships with the clients and banks, and much more. While you buy into a franchise, you need to have worked about paperwork, retaining customers, and decisions. Choose the way that is right for you and your career.

Choose a Legal Structure

Choose the legal structure that is suitable for your business strategy, which includes the partnership, sole proprietorship, and more. For legal advice, you can hire a lawyer who has experience in credit card processing startups.

Start a Credit Card Processing Company

There are some steps and legal documents that you will require to start a payment processing company. It includes business license, Insurance policy, the Contract document, nondisclosure agreement, certificate of incorporation, business plan, and operating agreement. After deciding your niche, and legal structure, register your business with your secretary of state. Moreover, don’t forget to establish the tax identification number with the Internal Revenue Service. All these things are required to start your merchant services business with your credit card history.

Comprehensive Business Plan

Now, define the comprehensive business plan that includes market analysis, marketing strategies, pricing strategies, and competitor analysis. You can get a sample of a comprehensive business plan from the website of the credit card processing company.

Insurance Types Needed

You need Liability insurance, Equipment insurance, Health insurance, General insurance, Business owner policy group insurance and Errors and omissions insurance for starting your merchant service business.

Partner With Other Companies

Now, contact the banks that serve the local merchants and show them your business plan. Try to build a relationship with the small businesses in your area. It’s time to partner with the card network banks to handle the interbank payment processing.

Lease Equipment for Processing

When you are going to start a credit card processing company, contact the companies for equipment leasing. Small businesses often need POS terminals, ATMs, and credit card terminals. You can make money by offering them a choice of buying the processing equipment of leasing them from you.