Independent Sales Agents are key players in obtaining new merchant relationships. Merchants who want to open a credit card processing account for their business typically reach out to agents for their help. In order for Independent Sales Agents to remain successful long term, they have to equip themselves with the right knowledge of payment industry terms when approaching merchants, especially if they want to portray themselves as an industry expert.


Here are 7 key payment phrases and terms Independent Sales Agents need to know when acquiring a partnership with a merchant: 


1. PCI Compliance
Independent Sales Agents should be aware of this term and the steps it takes to become compliant with the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The PCI SSC site offers many tips, explanations, and details on PCI Security developments. Beginning in April of 2016, the PCI SSC will be releasing an updated PCI DSS 3.2 version and will include new requirements and guidelines. 


2. Point-to-point encryption (P2PE)
Point-to-point encryption is provided by a third party solution provider and is a combination of applications, secure devices, and processes that encrypt data from the point of sale until the information reaches the solution providers side. P2PE provides increased protection against data breaches for merchants, which is a great selling point for Independent Sales Agents. 


3. Address Verification System (AVS)
Address Verification System (AVS) is a security feature, which requires merchants to provide address information for the cardholder during card-not-present transactions. The merchant’s system will confirm that the entered address matches the same credentials listed at the partnering bank and whether the information is valid. 


4. EMV
Now that the EMV liability shift has passed, Independent Sales Agents need to communicate to both current and prospective merchants about the important of EMV technology. Small business owners, in particular, may not be aware of the mandated shift and will need to be educated on what EMV is and how it will affect their business. It is up to agents to make sure their merchants are aware and up-to-date with the latest chip card processing technology. 


5. Interchange Fee
The interchange fee is a variable fee that is charged by the card payment networks for processing transactions. The average rate varies based on the kind of transaction run and the card brand. 


6. Loyalty Solutions
Loyalty solutions have grown to be a focal point within many industries, as they have shown to improve top-line revenue. Independent Sales Agents play a vital role in educating merchants on the many different forms of loyalty programs and available payment solutions, both of which can improve customer retention and profitability. 


7. Alternative Processing Methods
Due to the rising of digital technology, consumers now have the ability to use different alternative payment methods to complete a transaction. Recent payment developments, such as mobile wallets and NFC technology, now enable digital transactions. Independent Sales Agents need to stay on top of the latest forms of technology so they can extend these new products and services to merchants. 


Independent Sales Agents need to make sure they are aware of the latest trends and payment processing terms in order to be viewed as an industry expert. By keeping up with the latest terms and payment phrases, agents will be able to assist their current merchants with their needs as well as provide their expertise toward potential clients.


Looking to offer the latest payment solutions and receive top-notch agent support? Contact First American for your payment processing needs.