Selling Online: Merchant Accounts
UNDER BLOG read
Tuesday July 19, 2022

Selling Online: Merchant Accounts

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Andy Roth

  • To effectively sell online, you need to master SEO, SEM, and SMP
  • Customers expect a fully digital experience that happens in minutes
  • Customers want a consistent, unified platform they can access safely on any device
  • By delivering automation, integrated payments, and ongoing support, Under creates a new and improved approach to enhancing the customer journey

With gas prices sky-high, selling online is looking more appealing than ever. Wouldn’t it be great to ditch the cold calling, door knocking, and driving to attend meetings with brokers and sales agents? It would be nice if all you had to do were set up a website and count the leads that come in, but that’s not the way it works. Selling on the internet should be considered another tool in your sales process toolbox. Seasoned merchants often use this powerful and practical tool as one of many lead generation tactics. Through the internet, you may be able to reach people that weren’t on your radar.

You don’t just wind up a splashy new website and stand back and watch it go. There are millions of websites on the internet, and chances are that there are thousands of merchants out there offering the same product or service that you do. Everyone has a competitor. So how do you get the most qualified leads to visit your site instead of someone else’s?

Get Started Online 

Before setting up a website, your goals need to be crystal clear. Of course, as a broker or part of a full-time sales team, your goal is to get your message in front of as many qualified prospects as possible. But, as a business development expert, you know this is just the first step in the customer journey. The moment viewers click the call-to-action button; they have stepped into the sales funnel. Just like with any other inbound sales leads, that initial contact could make or break a conversion.

It’s always a numbers game in sales, with only a small percentage of inbound leads turning into sales. But, of course, the better the closer, the higher that percentage grows. So selling online offers seemingly limitless opportunities to gather the data you need to get in front of audiences closer to making a purchase decision. 

Driving traffic isn’t just about amassing numbers; it’s about the quality of those views. Visitors browsing your website and leave aren’t necessarily wasting time. Potential buyers who come and go quickly may return after they’ve finished comparison shopping. Each touch is an opportunity to build brand awareness. 

Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Powerhouse

Your prospect’s client journey begins the moment they land on your site for what may be their first encounter with your brand, products, and services. That ‘hello’ must be memorable and convey a message that’s so compelling your viewer will respond by providing you with some vital personal information. A landing page that’s confusing and difficult to navigate will quickly be abandoned. Here are a few things you can do to provide the best customer experience possible:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Once satisfied that your site is customer-ready, you should take the necessary steps to optimize your site to appear higher in search engine rankings. Search engines like Google have advertising programs encouraging you to bid against competitors on keywords that can get you closer to the top of a search results list. However, competition for high-traffic keywords can be fierce and expensive, so it’s best to build responsible budgets.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Involves optimizing a website to appear at the top of organic rankings for specific keywords. Use those keywords when creating content that appears on your site, in a blog post, or on any of the most popular web platforms.
  • Social Media Promotion (SMP): Reach target audiences by posting content on the social media platforms they are most likely to spend the most time. Different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all effective, but each attracts different audiences. Understand your target and deliver your message directly to them.

And when you ask a prospect for information, keep it simple. You want to know enough about them to deliver a personalized message or offer without overwhelming them by asking for too much personal information.

Closing the Deal

Your marketing strategies have worked, and it’s time to close the deal with a prospect. Keep in mind that the customer journey is far from over. When qualifying your newest client for a merchant account, keep the following steps simple with an online application.

  • First, your client provides the information that establishes, then ultimately protects their identity. This usually includes a name, birth date, social security number, physical address, email address, and phone number.
  • The client can quickly upload their driver’s license, government-issued photo I.D., or passport with phone capture.
  • Verify their identity by sending an email link that they must enter to verify that they are, in fact, the account holder. 
  • And finally, receive deposit funds with a debit/credit card or a mobile check deposit with image capture.

Within seconds, their identity is not only verified but evaluated for risk and fraud threats. Most of the time, this entire online application process can be completed, start to finish, in under five minutes. A deposit can be accepted, and their data is integrated with the core banking system. It wasn’t long ago when this same process took 3-5 days!

Why Does Any of This Matter to Me?

Customers expect a fully digital experience that happens in minutes, not in days. An online application can automate tedious functions that used to be completed manually and in person. As the Fintech landscape continues to reinvent itself at breakneck speeds, those who don’t adapt will eventually disappear.  

How can ISOs and Sales Agents Keep Up? 

Consumers have made it clear that they expect a consistent experience across all products and channels. They expect merchants and financial institutions to provide a consistent, unified platform they can learn quickly and access safely on their chosen devices. They want to pursue online services with a simple, intuitive application offering optional data pre-fills. Digital customers who don’t get the expected experience will quickly abandon their process and move on.

ISOs and sales agents need to provide every client with a user experience that is both simple and secure. By partnering with an independent software vendor (ISV), ISOs and sales agents can create a customer journey that seamlessly integrates behind the scenes. 

Under Empowers Merchants to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Under has developed a comprehensive software platform that gives ISOs, ISVs, Agents, PayFacs, and Financial Services companies the ability to provide end-to-end digital account opening solutions to their customers. A commitment to developing agile technology has become the priority for many of today’s businesses. By delivering automation, integrated payments, and ongoing support, Under creates a new and improved approach to enhancing the customer journey.  

Recently we’ve seen a dramatic shift toward e-commerce and integrated payments, not just in mainstream verticals, like fashion and groceries, but also in merchant segments like healthcare, professional services, and educational institutions. Under focuses on developing seamless performance instead of wasting time on risky ad hoc solutions. 

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