Selling merchant services from home can be a great side job for web developers or for anyone interested in generating a passive income. If you already work in the merchant services industry, becoming an independent merchant services agent can give you a new level of flexibility and a higher share of residuals than you may be receiving now.\n\nSTEP 1: CHOOSE A MERCHANT SERVICES COMPANY TO REPRESENT\n\nIf you want to make a living selling merchant processing services, choosing the right merchant account provider is a MUST. Not only will the right company’s services be easier to sell, but you’ll get more residual income from the sales. These are some of the top things to look for in a credit card processing company:\n\nFor Merchants…\nReputable Company\n\nWhile there are many legitimate merchant services providers out there, there are others that set up legitimate-looking websites to run merchant account scams. Before working with a merchant services company, do your due diligence to make sure the company is reputable:\n\nLook for third-party ratings, reviews and testimonials about the company on independent websites like Google My Business and Yelp.\nCheck the relevant chamber of commerce to make sure the company is a registered independent sales organisation and is in good standing.\nFind out when the company was established. A payment processing business that has at least a decade of experience will have had time to demonstrate resilience and build a track record of success.\nHigh Approval Rates\n\nIf you’re going to be signing up merchants under your account, it’s in your—and the merchant’s—best interests to choose a company with high approval rates. Unicorn Payment, for example, has a 98% approval rate for new merchant accounts, giving you the assurance that your marketing efforts won’t be in vain.\n\nPersonalised Processing Fees\n\nEvery business’s needs are unique and a credit card processing company that’s worth its salt will develop a personalised fee structure appropriate to each business’s average ticket size, processing volume, industry and unique level of risk.\n\nLatest Encryption Methods and PCI Compliance\n\nGiven the proliferation of e-commerce fraud, you need to be sure that the merchant services company’s payment gateway is secured with an encrypted connection and is fully PCI compliant. Promoting a payment gateway with compromised security could damage your reputation beyond repair.\n\nEasy Integration\n\nAs a merchant sales agent, you want to spend your time focusing on sales—not writing endless amounts of code to integrate a payment gateway into your merchants’ websites. When looking for a merchant account provider to recommend, go for one that has ready-to-go API modules for all of the major shopping carts and that can be integrated and ready to use in hours.\n\nInternational Reach\n\nThe wider the area serviced by a payment processing business, the greater the pool of potential customers that your merchants will have. More customers and sales, in turn, can increase your potential earnings. Unicorn Payment, for example, supports 196 countries and more than 160 currencies. As far as global potential, it doesn’t get much better than that!\n\nFull Suite of Merchant Services\n\nMerchants who want a dedicated merchant account need more than aggregate payment processors like PayPal and Stripe can offer them. That’s why it’s essential to choose a provider that offers the full range of merchant services, including:\n\nCloud-based transaction tracking\nDetailed sales reports\nFraud and chargeback protection\n24/7 customer support\nBest Merchant Services Company for Sales Agents\n\nFrom your perspective, you want a merchant services provider that offers an excellent deal to independent sales agents and treats you as a partner rather than an employee. Good merchant services agent programs offer lifetime residuals from credit card processing rather than a one-off commission or low monthly salary (after which they pocket the rest).\n\nIf you’re serious about making a living from payment solutions sales, look for reseller programs that:\n\nHave no minimum monthly quota\nProvide a generous revenue share\nReward loyalty and performance with a higher percentage\nSettle payments directly into your bank account with a minimum wait time\nContinue to pay you for the lifetime of each merchant account\n\nIn contrast to standard merchant services sales jobs, becoming an independent reseller should give you more freedom, more autonomy and more income. Don’t settle for a sub-par role when you could build an empire instead!\n\nSTEP 2: ASK FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE MERCHANT SERVICES AGENT PROGRAM\n\nOnce you’re confident that you’ve chosen the best merchant services business to promote to business owners in your area, fill out the company’s sign-up or “request more information” form to receive more detailed information about the company’s terms and conditions for sales agents.\n\nWhen the time comes to sign the reseller contract, be sure to read the terms and conditions of the contract carefully. If you have legal representation, have your lawyer look over it as well. Before signing, it’s essential to ask questions if anything is unclear or different from what you were told.\n\nSTEP 3: LEARN ABOUT THE COMPANY’S CREDIT CARD PROCESSING SERVICES IN DEPTH\n\nIf you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’re well on your way to building a lucrative career in merchant services sales. At this point, you’ll start operating as a representative of the merchant services company and need to have the same degree of knowledge as the payment processor’s employees.\n\nTo talk to merchants with authority and confidence, you will need to understand the company’s:\n\nMerchant-related services\nMerchant eligibility criteria\nContract terms\nMinimum and maximum processing volume\nMinimum contract length\nEarly termination fees\nRolling reserves (for some high-risk merchants)\nDifferent types and levels of merchant accounts (low risk and high risk)\nSet-up fees (if any)\nMonthly subscription fees (if any)\nCredit card processing cost\nCash discount program (if any)\nAPI integration process\nMerchant underwriting process\nDocumentation required to open a merchant account\nTimeline for applications and approval\n\nAs you learn how the company works, ask who you should contact if a merchant has a query you can’t answer and how to seek the necessary authorisation to offer merchants a special deal. Clear lines of communication here are imperative for success.\n\nSTEP 4: LEARN EFFECTIVE PHONE AND IN-PERSON SALES TECHNIQUES\n\nIf you don’t already have a background in sales, you’ll need to learn effective phone sales and in-person techniques before you start calling merchants. To get you started, refer to these best practices for making sales:\n\nKnow the person’s name and a few things about them before you call\nHave a legitimate reason to call aside from selling merchant services\nPresent yourself as the merchant’s partner in success, not just a sales agent\nOnce the topic of merchant services comes up, focus on the merchant’s pain points and how the merchant services company you are reselling can resolve these issues\nStart with a product or offer that has a low entrance barrier and move to an upsell later on\nKeep the merchant on the call for as long as possible (without being annoying) to increase your chance of a sale\nRespect the merchant’s time. Don’t call again if they make it clear that they aren’t interested\n\nBefore you call up real prospective customers, practice your sales pitch in front of a mirror and ask family and friends to help you out with mock dialogues. The feedback from these sessions (and what you observe yourself if you record them) will help you to further refine your skills.\n\nSTEP 5: CREATE A STEADY SUPPLY OF LEADS\n\nHow do you get your initial information? That’s where a supply of leads comes in. Rather than cold-calling merchants with a business directory (most are probably happy with their current provider), build relationships with the professionals who work with up-and-coming business owners, entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to scale.\n\nA great place to start is to build relationships with:\n\nWeb developers\nWebsite designers\nBusiness lawyers\nDigital marketing agencies\n\nGive these professionals a stack of business cards to display in their offices or pay for an ad on their business website (if they display paid ads) and invite them to refer their clients to you. You can also advertise on relevant third-party blogs and news sites to generate leads.\n\nSTEP 6: CALL AND VISIT MERCHANTS\n\nIf you’ve completed the previous step effectively, you should have a list of interested merchants and perhaps even a few that have written to you! One by one, call or visit these potential leads to get to know their payment processing needs and explain what your company can offer them.\n\nAfter each meeting or call, make a record of their interest level, response and any further questions they have. This will help you to follow up on your interested leads and prevent accidental repeat calls to merchants who have already said no.\n\nSTEP 7: SUPPORT NEW MERCHANTS THROUGH THE SIGN-UP PROCESS AND BEYOND\n\nOnce a merchant wants to sign up, support them every step of the way. Not only will this ensure that the merchant completes the process and is signed up under your account, but it’s also essential to demonstrate through your actions that you genuinely care about the merchant and want to see him or her succeed. For example:\n\nProvide the merchant with a complete list of required documentation and where or how to obtain each document\nExplain the reasons behind the merchant services company’s offered fees and terms and how these are advantageous for the merchant\nGo through the contract with the merchant step-by-step to ensure they understand the terms and conditions and feel confident that you’re being transparent\nAssist the merchant with API integration as needed until the payment gateway is up and running\n\nWhen the merchant begins making sales through the payment gateway, you’ll start earning money as a residual of the merchant services provider’s credit card processing markup. And in merchant partner programs that last for the lifetime of each merchant, you’ll keep earning on every transaction processed by that merchant from that time on.\n\nKEEP SELLING AND GROW YOUR RESIDUAL INCOME!\n\nSigning up your first merchant is a thrilling experience, but the real money comes once you’ve built up a large portfolio of merchants—including several businesses with a high monthly processing volume.\n\nUltimately, being successful in payment processing sales is a combination of skill in sales, effective networking, perseverance and hard work. And if you get those things right, you could have a very nice residual income from selling merchant services from home to see you into your retirement years.