It is the nature of business to evolve as new processes are implemented and new technologies streamline old systems to make them better.


For independent sales organizations (ISO), which acquire new merchant relationships for payment processors, it is important to know when business changes occur to properly accommodate their merchant relationships and bring new clients on board. 


Here are three ways ISOs are going to need to keep up with changes as the retail industry continues to evolve:

Maintain flexibility
It is important for an ISO agent to adapt in today's changing climate of payment systems and technology upgrades. For instance, mobile payments are becoming increasingly important in the eyes of retailers as the use of smartphones for online shopping continues to rise. According to NASDAQ, a 2015 report from Walker Sands Communications found 40 percent of survey respondents had used a mobile payment application in the past year. Because of the widespread adoption of smartphones and payment applications, merchants may want to incorporate a mobile payment solution into their business operations.


Security issues
As more business functions are moved to the cloud and off paper, data security is becoming more important. According to a recent Verizon report, 1 in 13 data breaches occurred in retail in 2015. Despite that statistic being exponentially lower than the number of breaches taking place at financial institutions and health care organizations, the high-profile nature of recent breaches at major domestic retailers have brought public attention tothe need for improved data security.


Cybersecurity is a huge issue, especially in the realm of payment processing. ISO agents need to familiarize themselves with industry events and concerns to fully engage with clients and help them overcome anxieties relating to security.


Know the ins and outs of EMV
Part of being aware of security concerns is becoming familiar with the EMV guidelines going into effect in October. Retail payment processing is about to change dramatically with this liability shift. Merchants are coming under growing pressure to implement EMV solutions due to the increased security offered by microchips versus magnetic strips. According to Visa, any data breaches that occur after October will transfer the liability to the party that has not upgraded to EMV. For instance, retailers that do not have EMV chip readers will be legally responsible in the event of fraud that hit huge retailers like Home Depot and Target the last couple years.


In the face of these new guidelines and shift in responsibility, ISO agents need to make sure to familiarize themselves with EMV guidelines and offer merchants the solutions they need to make the change.