Merchant services CRMs are software tools designed to help independent sales organizations and payment facilitators work smarter, save time, and generate more residuals. They accomplish those goals by using centralization and automation to streamline and enhance all the most common aspects of selling merchant services. From recruiting new merchants to onboarding to managing residuals and far beyond, a good merchant services CRM is a force multiplier that enables an ISO to accomplish more, provide better service, and compete better while saving time and money in the process. Unsurprisingly, CRMs are becoming mission-critical tools in the industry, and they’ve seen widescale adoption by a huge number of forward-thinking ISOs and PayFacs. 


Using a Merchant Services CRM to Recruit and Close New Accounts

Payments CRMs serve the same primary function as CRMs in any industry – facilitating sales by enabling salespeople to get more out of their leads and build stronger long-term relationships. The right merchant services CRM will help ISOs and PayFacs do both, creating a data-driven sales funnel that is both more efficient and more effective. 

Nurture Leads with Ease:

According to research by RBR, 100 million merchants around the globe will accept credit cards by 2025. There is a huge pool of potential customers out there, but there’s also stiff competition for their attention. Using a merchant services CRM for lead acquisition and management ensures ISOs and PayFacs can get more of those potential clients in the top of the funnel and, even more importantly, ensure fewer good ones slip through the cracks before they can be closed. 

CRM systems enable managers and sales teams to carefully categorize, track, and update each and every lead as they move through the sales process. Better tracking and management enables hot leads to be properly prioritized, warm and warmable leads to be carefully nurtured over the longer term, and unqualified leads to be discarded before they become a drain. There is no more efficient way to manage leads or the sales process than a CRM. 

Create Stronger Relationships with Merchants:

A good ISO CRM doesn’t just help with prospects; it also makes it easier to form and maintain stronger relationships with customers, as well. The wealth of data on each customer stored within a CRM enables both sales and support staff to deliver far more personalized service and far more effective solutions. The ability to quickly reference each merchant’s history in seconds also makes it possible to identify cross and up-sell opportunities when merchants are being underserved based on their current business needs. The result is “stickier” relationships that promote long-term merchant loyalty – a big factor in maximizing portfolio growth. 

Get more information about IRIS CRM – the payments industry’s top merchant services CRM.

Using a Merchant Services CRM for Processor and Gateway Onboarding

While sales and customer relationships are at the heart of what CRMs traditionally do, modern payments CRMs also offer a variety of tools designed to streamline and improve other aspects of processing – including onboarding. With the right merchant services CRM, ISOs and PayFacs can significantly reduce both the time and resources it takes to board new customers to services, while simultaneously opening up new revenue opportunities, as well. 

Adopt Paperless Merchant Processing Agreements to Maximize Convenience

Managing onboarding through a payments CRM represents an ideal opportunity to go paperless. Adopting digital MPAs with eSignature enables ISOs and PayFacs to eliminate the need to print or store the countless documents they work with, making filing easier on everyone. It also makes filling out and submitting forms faster and more convenient for merchants, improving the sales experience. 

Onboard New Merchants in Minutes or Even Seconds

The biggest problem with merchant onboarding is that it’s incredibly slow and rife with opportunities for costly human error. A typical application, when boarded traditionally from a non-e-signed MPA, can easily take 30 minutes or more, and a single typo could result in rejection or lost margin. 

A merchant services CRM can eliminate the most common issues with onboarding by automating the most time-consuming and error-prone parts of the process. For instance, IRIS CRM’s TurboApp automated boarding system takes in digital MPAs and handles all the data transfer automatically and instantaneously, reducing the time it takes to board a merchant from 30 minutes to five or less. In low-risk cases, merchants can even be boarded in a single click from MPAs they fill out online. The end result is more approvals, less wasted time, and a more cost-effective, profitable boarding process. 

Bring Processing and Gateway Sales Together

Payment processing is at the core of what most ISOs and PayFacs sell, but McKinsey estimates that by 2026, non-processing services will make up 40% of merchant acquirer revenues. Gateway resales represent a natural option for ISOs looking for a new revenue source to branch into since all merchants accepting card payments need a gateway of some type. 

With certain ISO CRMs, users can board merchants to gateway services from the same system, at the same time they’re setting up payment processing. That option adds a new revenue stream while adding effectively no marginal work to the process – a perfect example of how merchant services CRMs can boost efficiency in ways that have a big impact on business outcomes. 


Using a Merchant Services CRM to Manage ISO and PayFac Residuals

Residuals are the reason ISOs and PayFacs operate, but their complex nature means it can be difficult to keep a handle on them. The right payments CRM enables companies to manage their residuals more tightly and in far less time by automating all aspects of their calculation and reporting. CRM-based residuals management benefits everything from planning and decision-making to agent payouts and far beyond. 

Stop Wasting Hours Crunching Residuals Numbers the Old Way

The traditional way ISOs handle their residual calculations is clunky and time-consuming. Each month one report comes in from each of their processing partners, and a manager then gets to work combing through the information contained within each, looking for the information they need, and bringing it all together to generate their own report on the month’s earnings.

With a merchant services CRM, the software handles the entire process of parsing each processor’s reports and combining them into a single, useful dataset. Users can simply load up the residuals reporting dashboard and find any information they need in a matter of seconds. Key data like gross and net monthly earnings are available at a glance, and managers can drill down to any level they need, including portfolio-wide, processor-by-processor, or merchant-by-merchant earnings. With CRM reporting, hours of previously wasted time are freed up, and residuals data is both easier to understand and more useful. 

Access Agent Splits Instantly and Send Same-Day Payouts

A merchant services CRM can also make calculating agent residuals instantaneous, as well. With a platform like IRIS CRM, the splits for agents and any other stakeholders are entered into the system at the time of onboarding. When residuals numbers drop each month, the CRM automatically applies the splits, outputting the payout each agent is due and calculating the impact on ISO net residuals instantaneously. 

Better still, if the CRM offers built-in payments like IRIS CRM’s ACH integration, agents can be paid out as soon as the same day residuals reports come in, without ever having to leave the CRM. Paying out agents with perfect accuracy and unparalleled speed represents a huge advantage when it comes to attracting top talent, and helps ensure high performers stick around for the long run, reducing turnover. 

Make Better Business Decisions with Better Intelligence

The residuals and financial reporting tools included with a good payments CRM enable managers to quickly and easily access any data they need on the state of an ISO or PayFac’s revenue, profit, growth, merchant performance, payment types, processors, and much, much more. And the ability to easily customize and sort reports ensures data is never difficult to find. It’s the difference between having to pore over processor reports, sifting through the data line by line to find something, and being able to pull it up in a matter of seconds with a couple of clicks. 

Faster access to more complete data, organized and presented in a way that maximizes its usefulness and understandability, ensures managers will always have a more complete view of operations and finances, both in the short and long term. The result is better forecasting, better decision-making, and, in turn, improved growth. 


Using a Merchant Services CRM to Manage an ISO or PayFac Sales Team

With the right built-in features, CRMs can make extremely effective team management tools, enabling management and human resources to do everything from monitoring productivity to developing training programs to centralizing information exchange, and more. 

Identify Opportunities for Individual Improvement and Training

The reporting tools built into ISO CRMs can often be turned inwards to monitor agent performance as well as merchant performance. Accurate and up-to-date data on everything from how many customer contacts agents are making to where their active leads sit in the sales process to close rates to revenue generated and beyond can help managers quickly sort the top performers from the salespeople in need of additional training to reach the next level. 

In the case of IRIS CRM, which includes a built-in power dialer, managers can even listen back to an agent’s sales calls or jump on them in real-time to assess product knowledge, sales techniques, objection handling, and more. With so much valuable data, individualized training plans can be developed to help each agent reach their full potential and, in turn, maximize the revenue they generate for both the ISO and themselves. 

Monitor Sales Teams for Productivity and Compliance

With work-from-home arrangements and remote offices becoming more and more common in the post-pandemic world, many companies are looking for new ways to monitor employees they can’t see or interact with easily. A good merchant services CRM enables ISO and PayFac managers to keep a close eye on their teams, ensuring productivity in remote settings doesn’t dip and regulatory compliance doesn’t wane with key tasks like cold calling. 

Internalize Team Communications and Knock Down Information Silos

Certain payments CRMs, like IRIS CRM, include built-in team management chat software that offers many of the same communication features as platforms like Microsoft Teams or Slack. With these tools, sales teams can bring all of their communications – both internal and external – into the CRM, minimizing the number of systems they have to juggle and making it easier to share information. 

The seamless connection between the chat application and the CRM’s database makes it easier for staff to find and share the customer and organizational information they need, and information flow can be limited based on user classes to ensure anything sensitive or protected can only be shared or accessed by those with permission. 


Using a Merchant Services CRM to Improve Organization-Wide Efficiency

Adopting an ISO CRM isn’t just an investment in sales, it’s an investment in organization-wide improvements in productivity and efficiency. Top merchant services CRMs include a multitude of tools and integrations designed to help everyone in an ISO or PayFac, regardless of their role, work smarter and free up more of their valuable time. From the efficiency gains of widescale centralization, to minimizing the cost and complexity of the tech stack, to readying a company for quick-onset growth and beyond, a good CRM pays dividends in too many ways to count.

Centralize Everything

All CRMs focus heavily on centralization. A merchant services CRM will centralize key operational tasks like recruitment, onboarding, residuals management, and reporting, but often everything from customer support to mass marketing to billing and payments to web analytics to the front desk can be included, as well. 

In essence, the merchant services CRM becomes the nerve center of an ISO or PayFac, with almost everything and everyone flowing through it. That kind of advanced centralization helps minimize the time it takes to do everything. And when everyone’s workflows are streamlined, processes can be improved and more can be accomplished without eating up additional time or resources. 

Minimize Technology Needs and Monthly Bills

Centralization offers another major benefit: it simplifies the tech stack, reducing the number of hardware and software solutions an ISO or PayFac needs, along with their monthly bills. For instance, IRIS CRM’s built-in power dialer brings all of a company’s calling into the CRM via VoIP. Not only is there no need to buy and manage a separate power dialer, but there’s also no need for a traditional enterprise phone system. The CRM eliminates potentially two additional monthly bills and, in the case of the hardwired landlines, the ongoing maintenance and associated hardware costs, as well. Other examples include built-in mass email tools eliminating the need to pay for a separate auto-responder, boarding tools eliminating the need to develop expensive in-house API connections, and more.  

Prepare for Rapid Growth

A merchant services CRM is the ultimate growth tool, because not only does it help drive growth through a better sales process and better relationships, but it also serves as a tool to manage growth in a way that helps minimize the growing pains and costs that cause problems for so many companies.

First and foremost, the centralization and automation aspects of a good CRM enable companies to do more with less, facilitating revenue growth without necessarily requiring headcount to go up. But, when an ISO or PayFac is inevitably ready to start expanding its team, the right CRM can make that process more painless, too – assuming it has the right billing structure. IRIS CRM, for instance, understands that growth is the goal, and offers unlimited users, unlimited lead accounts, and unlimited storage. As a result, no matter how quickly or how large an ISO or PayFac grows, they’ll never need to worry about their technology costs skyrocketing.


To find out more about how a merchant services CRM can streamline and improve effectively all aspects of your ISO or PayFac’s operations, schedule a free guided demonstration of IRIS CRM today.