Guest Column | November 13, 2012

Solving The Challenge Of Connecting With Top-Tier Acquirers And Their Merchant Clients

By Eric Barth, senior director — product management, TSYS Acquiring Solutions®

The Challenge
In the past, a VAR or ISV in the payments arena faced a multitude of challenges relating to connecting with top-tier acquirers, ISOs, and their merchant clients. A small, newly-formed VAR or ISV does not typically have the resources — time or financial — to search for clients who might be interested in or need their solutions. This has been a common dilemma for years.

Payment processors’ role in the payments ecosystem
Typically, a payment processor has served their acquirers and merchants with the function of reliably authorizing and capturing transactions and clearing and settling them. If a payment processor’s acquirer required a special application or feature for their merchant, they were on their own to create an appropriate solution in order to retain their merchants and keep them thriving.

Acquirers and ISOs can provide another level of support, as well as add a recurring revenue stream to VARs or ISVs
By utilizing a VAR partner-oriented, full-service payment processor offering an easy method to connect with many top-tier acquirers and their clients, the VAR and ISV more effectively find and eliminate the unnecessary energy spent on reaching these clients. By making a connection with an acquirer or ISO through a top-tier payment processor, a VAR or ISV will provide the acquirer or ISO a level of technical and application support to their clients they did not have in the past. The acquirer or ISO in some cases is willing to offer a share of the residuals to offset the cost of in-house technical support. This will add value and increase the VAR or ISV revenue stream by offering new solutions to clients that they were previously unable to provide.

Acquirers and ISOs can provide a lead source and a referral partner
Acquirers and ISOs are in front of the same merchants as the VAR and are often faced with special challenges that the VAR may be able to solve. This can result in new sales for the VAR. Conversely, VARs may find merchants who are in need of merchant services. Working directly with a VAR partner-oriented payment processor gives the acquirer offering merchant services more flexibility.

New technologies can offer a value proposition for your merchants
A full-service payment processor offering quick turnaround of software certifications can solve another VAR challenge — providing solutions to their clients that adhere to PCI and other regulatory requirements. In addition, the payment processor can offer assistance, services, and resources to the VAR or ISV to assist with payment requirement compliance like EMV, the enhanced security of encryption and tokenization, as well as new trends in mobile payment acceptance. All of these are available through the VAR-focused processor who keeps abreast of current technologies.

Solving the connection challenge
Seeking to solve the connection challenge VARs and ISVs face, TSYS Acquiring Solutions developed its VAR Partner Connect program, which is unique in the industry. In addition to being the “original” VARoriented payment processor, TSYS Acquiring Solutions offers its VAR Partner Connect Program, which has been designed to be a hub connecting and exposing VAR solutions to the industry’s top acquirers and their merchants — all at no cost to the VAR. An immediate connection to more than 400 banks and acquirers occurs when a VAR or ISV joins the program and goes through the quick certification process for their solution to TSYS’ processing platforms. It is a win-win for both the acquirer and the VAR. Bringing a TSYS certified product to market significantly reduces the VAR’s or ISV’s development and certification costs. The acquirer wins by having an extensive library of certified payment products available for their clients.

Industry insight
As technology continues to play a bigger role at the point of sale, the ability of a payment processor to provide capabilities that allow their clients to support virtually any POS environment in any vertical market is key to their success. Continued investment in a VAR program that offers subjectmatter expertise in new and emerging technologies through educational webinars, as well as VAR management and its Web portal that provides up-to-date industry information and connects VARs and ISVs with top acquirers, will promote smart growth in the industry.