Merchant Account Referral Program

Merchant Account Referral Program

What to look for in a referral program?

The Internet is full of companies that offer a wide range of services to the Ecommerce industry and one service that has great importance are the merchant account providers. This allows the merchant to accept credit cards from their website.

Many people become resellers of merchant accounts, agents or referral-affiliate partners and it can be an undaunting task if you do not know what to look for. Here are some tips to help make the right decision and to pick the right program.

What type of referral program is right for you and your organization?

Do you want to do all the work in doing the pricing, the collection of documentation, first tier of customer support? If so then a direct program with a registered ISO or processor would be the program that you would want to look at. You would in effect become an agent of their organization and would promote their services to your merchants.

Merchant Account Referral-Affiliate programs allow you to just refer the merchant directly and let the ISO or processor do all the work for you from start to finish as well as the ongoing customer support. The benefits of this type of program, is that you do not need to be involved in the day to day management of the merchant, which can eat up lots of time if the merchant is having difficulties with their account. These types of programs usually compensate referring agents with a onetime payment per lead that can be negotiated along with a residual on the account.

Onetime payout accounts as a referral-affiliate partner are ok, but these types of programs are volume driven. Your group would have to make sure that you consistently send merchants that are signed up to collect your onetime payouts.

The best referral-affiliate programs are the ones that pay you a residual for the account in a form of the percentage of the profit on the account for as long as they process. This way you earn on each account and can build up a good income over time.

In doing your research look for:

  • A well-known ISO or referral partner who is a processor or a registered ISO. There are many fly-by-night organizations that build fantastic websites but may not be reputable.
  • What type of accounts do I want to send or do? Retail? Ecommerce? Mobile? Are these accounts High Risk Accounts?
  • The type of program that fits you or your group’s needs – direct program or referral program.
  • How are they going to pay me or my group? Will it be a onetime payment? Onetime and residual payments?
  • Are there quotas that need to be met each month to be paid?
  • What is the payment frequency for my residuals? Is it monthly? Do I need to reach a cutoff point to be paid?


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