Great sales professionals have no shortage of opportunities coming their way, but the opportunity to sell credit card processing services is one few ever look into seriously. Yet, a combination of factors, including huge demand for credit card processing, uniquely cumulative lifetime earnings, and sales organizations desperate for top talent in a cut-throat market all make selling credit card processing an extremely lucrative opportunity, where great salespeople have a chance to really stand out – and make a significant amount of money in the process. 


Why Selling Credit Card Processing Services Represents Such a Big Opportunity

The salespeople that sell credit card processing services in the payments industry are called independent agents. They generally recruit and close merchants on behalf of payments companies called either registered independent sales organizations (ISOs) or payment facilitators (PayFacs). Working for one of these types of companies provides the agent with the ability to sell the credit card processing services offered by a variety of different payment processors, and represents a big opportunity for three primary reasons: the pool of potential clients is enormous, commissions keep coming in for life, and the snowball effect makes it possible to earn serious money. 

The Market is Huge

Visa is already accepted at 44 million merchants around the globe. And because merchants have so much choice in the space and switching providers isn’t difficult, every single one of those 44 million merchants represents a potential client, at least in theory. But, while no salesperson will ever have access to that many prospects, the reality is that, in today’s digital world, where online shopping and cashless payments are the norm, every business needs credit card processing. It’s a huge market, so a lack of targets and qualified prospects should never be a problem for a salesperson with the right lead support.  

The Earnings Can Last a Lifetime

The commissions paid out in the payment processing industry are known as residuals, and they’re earned for life. Any merchant an independent agent signs up for credit card processing is “owned” by that agent for the lifetime of their processing (or until they switch to a different processor.) Every single transaction the merchant processes results in a commission (albeit a very small one) for the agent, meaning that each merchant an agent signs up effectively becomes a source of passive income for years or potentially even decades to come. 

The Earnings Potential is Unlimited

Because of the lifetime nature of residuals, when agents sell credit card processing, their earnings snowball over time. The commission earned on each residual is tiny – a fraction of a percent. In fact, the average merchant account returns just $30 per month in residuals. That might sound underwhelming, but consider that, over time, a great independent agent can easily build up a portfolio with thousands of merchants in it, all generating earnings for the agent passively. By the time they’re well established in the industry, a great agent can easily be earning well into the six figures per year just on residuals from work they’ve already done. Better still, that portfolio can be sold, often for a healthy multiple of its annual value, representing a potentially major cash infusion when an agent is ready to retire. 


Why Great Salespeople Stand Out More in Payments Than Other Industries

“Great salespeople can make a lot of money through commissions” might not seem like a groundbreaking statement, but there are certain aspects of the payments industry that make it a potentially more beneficial space than other industries. Specifically, the extreme competitiveness for merchants’ attention and for top talent means that the best agents can take advantage of a field crowded with underwhelming sales pitches and employers desperate for their services. 

The Space is Incredibly Competitive but Barriers to Entry are Low

There isn’t really a limit to how many independent agents an ISO or PayFac can bring on to sell credit card processing services, because compensation is almost entirely commission-based. As a result, there is a lot of competition out there. However, the low barriers to entry also mean a lot of that competition is under-trained and inexperienced. As a result, great salespeople who can build up a strong grasp of the industry quickly can really stand out in the eyes of the merchants they’re trying to land. An elevated sales process is a great way to stand out, and many merchants are eager for the opportunity to work with true professionals. 

Companies are Desperate for Top-Performing Talent

The amount of competition in the space doesn’t just apply to independent agents, it applies to PayFacs and ISOs trying to outcompete each other, as well. And because of that, those companies are constantly looking to scout new rainmakers. In the payments space, truly great agents that can perform at a high level don’t have a hard time getting noticed, and the number of ISOs and PayFacs scrambling for the top people, combined with the ease of working remotely, means solid agents have a huge amount of choice in who they work for and how they work. 

Commissions are Highly Negotiable

Competition for talent doesn’t just mean plenty of choice in employers; it also means residuals can often be negotiated to ensure top agents get a bigger slice of the pie than average performers. And, since there are so many options, there’s nothing stopping great salespeople from jumping from one ISO to another. To stop that from happening, ISOs and PayFacs work hard to retain their best talent, and paying them better is just one of the ways they do that. It’s also important to note that if an agent leaves one ISO for another, they still continue to earn residuals on all the merchants they signed up at their previous job. Those residuals stay with them as long as those merchants keep processing transactions. 


How Modern Payments Tech can Make Selling Credit Card Processing Services Easier

The biggest barriers salespeople are likely to face when starting to sell credit card processing are getting a handle on the industry and generating an initial competitive advantage while doing so. While industry knowledge can be gained quickly through diligent homework, getting an initial foothold can be trickier. That’s where modern sales technology like a good payments CRM can come into play. The right payments CRM enables new independent agents to hit the ground running with a variety of tools designed to help them sell, operate, and manage their earnings within the payments industry – an invaluable advantage. Luckily, many ISOs and PayFacs lean heavily on CRMs and provide their agents with access to one. But, even in the case where they don’t, there’s nothing stopping an agent from setting up a CRM on their own. 

Payments CRMs Make Connecting With and Closing Merchants Easier

The primary function of all CRMs is to foster and enable better customer interactions, sales, and service. Basically, the CRM and all the data stored within makes it faster and easier to create stronger relationships, regardless of where a lead is in the sales process. In the case of selling credit card processing services, a CRM starts by enabling an agent to manage their leads far more effectively, ensuring merchants don’t slip through the cracks just because they aren’t ready to sign now. Once a merchant is ready to talk processing, the data in the CRM enables agents to access every interaction they’ve ever had with that merchant in seconds, leading to a more personal-feeling sales process, a better understanding of merchant needs, more tailored solutions, and, in turn, faster closes. 

Payments CRMs Make Upselling Add-Ons Easier

Some payments CRMs also enable agents to sell other products merchants need at the same time they’re signing them up for credit card processing. For instance, IRIS CRM enables agents to sign merchants up for payment gateway services through NMI, along with NMI’s full suite of value-added services. As a result, with the right CRM, agents can quickly and easily upsell merchants on other services they need to do business anyways, opening up new revenue streams and generating extra residuals, with little extra work involved. 

Payments CRMs Make Tracking and Managing Earnings a Breeze

With residuals coming in from dozens of merchants to start, and hundreds or even potentially thousands over time, it can be difficult for agents to keep tabs on where their commissions are coming from. A good payments CRM makes it easy by automatically tracking everything to do with residuals and putting it all together in easy-to-read reports that agents can access at any time in a matter of seconds. Better residuals reporting ensures agents have a deeper understanding of where their residuals are coming from and which merchants are performing best, helping direct future efforts and ensuring payouts each month are accurate. 
If you’re a sales professional looking to start selling credit card processing, and you’re ready to find out more about how a payments CRM can streamline your work, improve your lead management, and boost your monthly residuals, reach out to a member of the team or schedule a free guided demonstration of IRIS CRM today.