ISO Definition

Merchant Account ISO Explained:

What is an ISO? “ISO” stands for “Independent Sales Organization” and is a formal designation that a company must have in order to sell Visa credit card processing services under its own company name. Visa displays its registered and approved ISOs on the Visa ISO List. In many cases, sales organizations operate as “ISOs” under a Visa-approved ISO in a sales partnership. In these cases the sales organization may have its own company name, but it sells merchant accounts branded under the actual Visa-approved ISO.

Visa-approved ISOs represent an Acquiring Bank, or Processor, or both. ISOs are also allowed to set terms of their own merchant account contracts and mark up processing rates and fees. Although a Processor can also be an ISO, most ISOs are solely sales organizations that act as “middle men” that market point-of-sale solutions (terminals, payment gateways, mobile accessories, etc.) and pair them with acquirers and processors.

MasterCard has a similar designation called an MSP.

ISO Video Explanation

Use of this video does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by CardPaymentOptions.com.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

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