What is a Payment Processing Agent?

Payments, Agent, Processing


The payment processing sector is predicted to grow at a compound annual rate of 10.2% between 2021 and 2026. However, many merchants still rely on sub-optimal payment processing, which can negatively affect their sales and the customer experience that they offer.

This is where agents can come in, helping pair merchants with the right payment processor. But what is a payment processing agent and how do you become one? This brief article answers these questions and provides top insider tips into how you can succeed as a payment processing agent.

What is a payment processing agent?

A payment processing agent is also known as a credit card processing agent, merchant services reseller, or merchant services agent. Agents work for a payment processing provider or a larger ISO to develop business by selling payment processing product(s) to merchants, thereby benefiting their own (and the provider/ISO's) bottom-line.

What does a payment processing agent do?

Agents identify merchants that could benefit from integrating with a new system to execute their payments in a secure, efficient way that supports business growth. Agents work for a payment processing provider and aim to develop business for the provider by selling their payment processing product(s) to merchants.

You can become an agent in the payment industry as an ancillary or complementary role to your current profession or focus on it in a more dedicated capacity. The position typically offers high flexibility to suit different schedules as you earn remuneration when you generate a successful merchant partnership.

How to become a payment processing agent

Getting started as a payment processing agent can be quick and straightforward. Here are a series of steps to follow to get up and running as soon as possible.

1. Learn the basics of payment processing

At this stage, you don’t need to understand payment processing inside and out but getting a good grasp with a foundational knowledge of how it works for merchants is important. This includes the different parts of the process, such as the role of issuing and acquiring banks, and the kind of technology involved.

2. Compare payment processors and identify the right partner for you

There are so many merchant seller programs to consider. They may vary by the sectors they work in and the way in which they operate. It’s crucial to take this step very seriously, as it will define the reseller programs that you will apply to, and ultimately, the provider with which you’ll be working. A rigorous review of how each processor under consideration operates, how they may - or may not - support their agents, and the conditions of the role is a prerequisite step.

3. Apply to your merchant seller program(s) of choice

By this point, you will have become knowledgeable on the basics of payment processing for merchants and you should also have a strong idea of which program you’d like to apply to. The next step is to now complete the application and you’ll be on your way to becoming a payment processing agent.

How to be a successful payment processing agent

The agents that generate the best results tend to be able to express an innate understanding of a merchant’s business challenges and how their payment processing solution can address them.

They’re able to build rapport with merchants and ably demonstrate how their payment processing partner can support merchant business growth. The following steps will help you become the best payment processing agent you can be.

Step 1: Dive deep into payment processing and how it works in detail

A product sale is far more likely when it is clear that the seller is knowledgeable about the product. With this in mind, learning the ins and outs of all things payment processing for merchants that go considerably beyond the basics will position you for optimized success.

Step 2: Choose a merchant niche (or two)

By choosing a market niche, you can quickly become an expert in it. For instance, an agent may wish to focus solely on software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology providers. This enables them to become knowledgeable on SaaS companies and their payment processing challenges, whereas focusing on multiple industries at the same time makes it a lot more difficult to specialize in one or two in particular.

You may also wish to include a second, similar niche to your main one. For instance, hotels pair well with travel.

Step 3: Partner with the right merchant payment processor

Not all merchant payment processors have a dedicated agent success channel. CardConnect provides agents with ongoing support, scalable payment tools to enable income growth over the long term, and access to CoPilot, CardConnect’s turnkey portfolio management platform

Step 4: Know your merchants and give them what they want

While each merchant may have some payment challenges specific to their business, they predominantly face the same payment management obligations. The right processing provider can equip you as the agent to solve these problems with purpose-built features to address these market needs.

Card Connect provides agents with the ability to deliver ready-made solutions for a range of merchant payment challenges. These include CardPoine, the end-to-end merchant payment management platform; Bolt, the secure, card-present payment acceptance platform; and Clover, the benchmark point-of-sale payments system.

Becoming a credit card processing agent: Setting yourself up for success

Becoming a payment processing agent can be an excellent and lucrative career move, whether as a primary or supporting income source. Moreover, it is relatively easy and quick to get up and running, with a little time investment in the beginning. However, the most successful agents tend to follow a similar series of steps. Chief among these are developing a deep knowledge of merchants in their niche, understanding how payment processing works and supports merchant growth, and identifying a payment services provider with a reputable, market-leading product, and who helps position their agents for outstanding success.