Sub-ISO Definition

Merchant Account Sub-ISO Explained:

What is a Sub-ISO? The term “sub-ISO” is somewhat of a loose term in credit card processing that can be used to refer to merchant account providers that are subsidiaries, affiliates, partners and/or resellers of an actual Independent Sales Organization (ISO). Sub-ISOs are generally sales organizations that resell the services of either larger ISOs or direct processors. Often times, sub-ISOs will not identify themselves as such and will simply call themselves ISOs.

Obtaining a merchant account through a sub-ISO does not necessarily raise the cost of a merchant account over obtaining one from a larger ISO or direct processor. Although, in some cases, sub-ISOs can adjust contract terms, pricing, and fees at their own discretion, which may result in higher or lower fees for the merchant.

One advantage that many sub-ISOs have over larger organizations is being able to supply better customer service since they have fewer accounts to manage and, therefore, fewer problems to resolve. Other sub-ISOs may outsource their customer service to a larger parent company or direct processor, which often results in reduced customer satisfaction. Generally speaking, small businesses (less than $5 million in annual processing) are better served by small sub-ISOs and larger businesses by large ISOs and direct processors.

Before signing with any provider, be sure to read the merchant account agreement thoroughly to understand if you are signing directly with the company with which you are dealing or if it is acting as a sub-ISO of another company. If you are working with a sub-ISO, ask which company will be handling the customer service of your account and be sure to research all companies involved.

Also see: Reseller

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Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

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