972.415.3450 or 512.694.9146 Sally@PaymentOperationsGroup.com

The internal war is real and the external victims are too numerous to mention. The issue, however, is not the process, it’s the application.

Let me backup for a minute. This internal dialog has been going on for a while and you’re just now stepping in.

So many businesses, merchants, consultants, and acquirers alike, use the same plan that has been used before. Well, if the plan fits the situation, this may be fine; but if it does not match the new problems at hand, why reuse the same plan? We all do it, but why?

Acquirers, processors, and ISO’s all gear systems and programs toward a few types of merchants. There isn’t much sense in creating an entirely new platform for just one merchant. So, the thought is to have a few styles of processing that cater to certain merchant types and fit each merchant into one of the available slots. This doesn’t allow for much customization. But it also reduces error. If a restaurant signs with an acquirer that specializes in hospitality then most of the set-up and processing are guaranteed to be worthwhile to the merchant. Lather, Rinse, Repeat is the right way to go to get to the same place everyone else has gotten to.

Merchants do the same thing but in a different manner. Merchants hire payment professionals to handle their internal processes. They often hire away from their business competitors to get staff that know their industry segment. That new employee brings proof that they performed this miracle upgrade at their last job and they could do it again. Yes, that saves time in the learning curve. No, that does not mean you’ve hired strategy – you’ve recycled a plan. It may be a great plan and it may work well for the business but it’s the same thing over again – tried and true, assuming that is all that your business hopes to achieve.

Consultants do this as well. They document how well ‘X, Y, and Z’ worked for the last merchant that they helped. They are ready to recycle this plan every time a merchant calls, if need be, since it was a solid, well-executed plan. And it does work – tried and true, yet again. It does help every merchant. But it may not help every merchant in every way. There is a level of understanding that comes with a crafted plan and a level of confidence that comes with a recycled plan and both are good in their own way.

So, let’s ask one more question. The plan is out there on the table because:
❖ “It works for some of the largest merchants in your space in the world”, or
❖ “I did this at my last job and it worked great – it can work for this company, too”, or
❖ “All of our clients have found this approach very successful”

Ask this:

Where can we adjust this plan to make it a sustainable strategy exclusively for our business?

So maybe listen for the plan as the start of something special:
✓ “We specialize in your type of merchant so let’s start with the best set-up and then polish from there”, or
✓ “I’ve built strategies for businesses in the past, so let’s see what we can do together now that I’m here”, or
✓ “We work with merchants in your space so we know a lot about what you may encounter – shall we see
what more we can do together”

There is nothing wrong with Lather, Rinse, Repeat. It covers probably 80-90% of what you need. Just don’t stop there because you deserve more.

Payment Operations Group is a consultancy of Payment Professionals who ran away from home to join the circus. But seriously, if you would like to pursue a Strategy for your processing future or any payment engagement at all, contact information is provided below.

Payment Operations Group, LLC
Payments…Navigating, Educating, Strengthening.

Christine Wade

Sally Baptiste


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