The Disconnect from B2C to B2B for Merchant Sellers

The Conversation was going as many before it had gone with a very successful B2C selling, Independent Sales Organization (ISO), about their business. They had though seen declines despite their success because of Covid- 19. It was eating into their income as B2C, location after location, closed or was submitting less card volume, the lifeblood of their residuals. So, I asked, “What is your plan?” I was kind of stunned when I was told that they were going to redouble their efforts in B2C and start selling Lawn Care and Plumbers, in B2B. I did my best to explain that these were not B2B verticals but home services and still B2C type merchants. A better example would be where you are converting Business Invoices to plastic, where there are a buyer and supplier.

ISO’s are fiercely independent by nature. Many have been in the business for years, perfecting and refining their businesses for enormous gains, building large books of business in a very giving B2C segment. But is this independence keeping this very same group from moving on to the next frontier, B2B? I think it is and here is why. B2C’s success has for years been largely driven by 3 factors from the ISO. First, cost savings, where the ISO works with a given merchant to reduce costs based upon identifying where they might have been paying more than they are willing to charge. You know it better as the Race to Zero. It is a dangerous game as next month or at some point in the future, another ISO will more than likely play it with your account. Second, customer service, we do it better, we answer the phone when you call, heck we even drop off paper when you need it. And lastly and a little more recently, technology. The ISO offers some front-end submission system or pathway to a Gateway to make it easy for the merchant to do business with them. The B2C segment has been awash in demand and opportunity, but it is not as great as it once was……

So, what is the alternative and why are ISO’s so reluctant to take the jump into B2B? The alternative to B2C is