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The Comeback Kid: How ISOs Can Stay Relevant and Win More Deals with Tilled

As technology continues to redefine the payment landscape, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) can leverage Tilled’s PayFac-as-a-Service to preserve their place in the rapidly-changing industry.

Every industry has been touched by the digital transformation, and payments is no exception. For the past 10 or so years, the payments landscape has seen a digital shift, and its effects have been felt across the entire ecosystem — Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) included.

For ISOs, who’s rise and digitally-induced fall we discuss further below, a solution like Tilled can help them close more deals and get back to their industry golden days…

The Golden Days of ISOs  

Knowledge check: what is an ISO? Historically, ISOs have acted as a third-party one-stop shop for merchant services, offering payment processing, bank partnerships, terminals, and customer support on behalf of acquiring banks and cardmember associations. When thinking of the “traditional” landscape, many view the payments ecosystem from a distribution perspective, with Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) representing your door-to-door sales. 

As for what made ISOs popular to begin with? The cost and time-savings. Thanks to a predefined relationship with acquiring banks, ISOs could sell competitive rates to merchants and empower businesses to cut down on processing costs. Additionally, ISOs were able to offer stronger customer support than large acquirers, giving merchants the ability to contact agents directly for help. By offering reliable and personable customer service, ISOs ultimately grew a following of satisfied and trusting clientele, which leads us to the following question:

What happened to make these favorable organizations shift from being highly sought after to hurting for business? 

Who is Responsible for their Downfall?  

Enter the industry disruptors: Stripe and PayPal (amongst others). When processors like these made their debut, merchants were instantly attracted to their flat-rate fees and simple business models. Plus, merchants could get up and running with these solutions in no time, thanks to instant, digital onboarding and underwriting processes. When compared to the lengthy PDF application ISOs often required, it’s a no-brainer why PayFacs were so appealing to merchants.  

Eventually, ISOs took another hit when these providers began to offer direct merchant applications, making it even easier for merchants to get started with payment processing. As adoption levels soared for PayFacs, ISOs are left in a difficult position, struggling to offer merchants a better solution. 

That leads us to our next question: what can ISOs do now to make a comeback and stand out from the competition?

Closing More Deals With PayFac-as-a-Service

The days of managed PayFac providers (we’re looking at you, Stripe and PayPal) monopolizing the payments industry are over. By referring potential clients to Tilled, ISOs can offer software businesses a more competitive payment solution with benefits they can’t get anywhere else. Unlike managed PayFac providers, Tilled makes it easy for software businesses to begin monetizing the payments, offering partners the lion’s share of the revenue. So, on top of a modern and frictionless payments experience for end users, ISOs can pitch businesses on the recurring stream of revenue they can create through Tilled. 

We don’t stop there, though. Tilled can also take the weight of merchant adoption off ISOs shoulders through our partner marketing program. With materials like one-sheeters, email campaigns and other helpful resources, Tilled can directly provide merchants with the information they need to get started and be successful with payment processing. For ISOs who are OK taking a hands-off approach, this essentially means putting their portfolio on auto-pilot. 

Ultimately, the bottom line for ISOs is to either adapt, or be left behind. With Tilled, ISOs can accomplish the former successfully and close more deals.


Have more questions about our ISO partnerships and how you can work with Tilled to grow your portfolio? Contact our sales team here. 


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