Definition: What is an Independent Sales Organization?

Independent Sales Organization

Independent sales organizations – or ISOs – are an important part of the network connecting merchants to the financial services companies that handle the processing of their credit card, debit card, and ACH payments. But as ubiquitous as the term ISO has become in the digital age where electronic payment processing is king, a lot of people still aren’t entirely clear on exactly what ISOs do. Below is a quick primer explaining the role of independent sales organizations, how they fit into the payments ecosystem, and how new software is making their jobs easier and more profitable than ever. 


What Independent Sales Organizations Do?

Independent sales organizations are individuals or companies that act as third parties representing a bank, financial service provider, or payment processor. As an independent representative, ISOs resell the services of the bank or payment processor they’re representing, but they’re also responsible for providing customer service and support on behalf of those companies, facilitating hardware sales, and a number of other duties as well. Merchants that sign on with an ISO typically deal directly with the ISO rather than with the end service provider, meaning that service providers depend on ISOs to ensure happy clients and ongoing transaction fees. That makes ISOs important partners and a significant cog in the payment processing machine. 


How Independent Sales Organizations Get Paid?

While independent sales organizations may offer a variety of services, the primary way they get paid is through the earning of residuals on transactions processed by their merchants. Essentially, whenever a merchant takes an electronic payment, the payment processor takes their slice of the pie, and a small slice is also provided to the ISO in the form of a residual payment. Those residuals accrue for the lifetime of the merchant’s relationship with the payment processor, making residuals a valuable income stream. ISOs will normally engage independent contractors to act as their sales agents, and those contractors receive a further subdivision of the residual payment from the ISO in exchange for their services. 


How IRIS CRM Can Help Independent Sales Organizations?

IRIS CRM provides massive value to independent sales organizations (and their merchants) by providing advanced reporting, portfolio, and account management through direct integrations with the most popular payment processors. An independent sales organization utilizing an ISO CRM like IRIS CRM can monitor reporting on the transactions and disputes of their merchants from right within the CRM, allowing them to keep a close eye on which of their merchants are the most profitable and most valuable to the bottom line, and which are struggling or, in some cases, even damaging overall portfolio success. On the portfolio side, IRIS CRM enables ISO managers to monitor portfolio growth, accurately calculate residuals, drill data down to the transaction-level, and much more. Finally, IRIS CRM’s advanced TurboApp software makes it faster and easier than ever for ISOs to board new merchants, making it possible to increase agent capacity by up to 500%.


In addition to these useful features designed specifically to help ISOs manage their portfolios and merchants, IRIS CRM also includes a full suite of productivity tools covering everything from lead management to email and telephone communication, billing, payments, scheduling, and much more. Contact us today to find out more about how IRIS CRM can help independent sales organizations streamline operations and maximize profits. 

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