Streamlining Merchant Services for Financial Institutions: How FIs Can More Quickly Deepen Relationships and Increase Revenue

Merchant with notepad

Merchants today compete in increasingly complex business environments with high customer expectations. Consumers demand simplified commerce and shopping experiences from the merchants they trust. To deliver these experiences, many merchants often find themselves creating a more complex technology footprint to manage their business when that doesn’t have to be the case.

This growing complexity increases chances for merchants to waste time and resources, so merchants value access to experts, technology, and advice from their financial institutions more than ever before.

This presents an enormous opportunity for financial institutions to cultivate deeper, stickier relationships with their merchant customers and offer a true “white-glove” service that modernizes the merchant services in banking approach and effectively blends the best technology and customer service to simplify a complex challenge.

What is a Balanced Merchant Services in Banking Approach?

The market is fragmented and merchants are overwhelmed with choices each claiming to be faster or cheaper. But when merchants scratch the surface, they encounter poor customer service, higher processing fees, superficial analytics, and partners that don’t act as true team members.

To stand out, financial institutions need a merchant services partner that can deliver both deep technology and customer service offerings that can be customized for every merchant customer. One size does not fit all. At Fiserv, we describe this as white-glove service blended with advanced capabilities.

Three Ways to Stand Out

To make their merchant services offering truly stand out, financial institutions must excel in three areas:

  • Data Insights: They must work with the merchants to evaluate the data points most critical to a merchant’s commerce experience such as transaction type, decline rate and payment method. This will improve merchants’ revenue-generating opportunities while identifying ways to create additional growth with the merchant.
  • Digitization: Merchants require accessible digital tools to quickly implement new services, easily communicate, and track their success. Financial institutions can offer digital enrollment, customized digital marketing tactics and support. This helps drive growth: 82% of merchants say a bank’s digital capabilities are important in choosing a provider.1
  • Simple Integration: Merchants, like consumers, want the choices they want when they want them. Merchant processing offerings should be custom-built for each bank engagement. Financial institutions should simplify their merchants’ technology ecosystem while allowing them to customize and quickly deploy their solution.

White Glove Service Increases Your Top and Bottom Line

According to independent analysts, small business clients that add merchant services will:2

  • Contribute 2.6x more in revenue than standard business account holders2
  • Possess 1.7x more distinct products than business account holders2

Furthermore, they found 41% more merchant account holders were cross-sold products than business account holders.2

What to Look for When Considering a Financial Merchant Services Provider

The relationship with a merchant services provider should be as beneficial and friction-free as possible. Consider a provider that can:

  • Act as part of the sales team and works with merchants over the phone.
  • Offer a quick-response team to respond to any technical issues only or at the Point-of-Sale (POS).
  • Implement turnkey merchant adoption marketing services directly, so the bank doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting.
  • Manage onsite merchant conversion.
  • Provide a highly-skilled training team.

The Fiserv Advantage

At Fiserv, we exist to help financial institutions grow through unique and compelling merchant services programs supported by transformative customer service. We are a leading provider of technology-enabled credit card processing services, with expertise and experience in meeting the unique needs of all types of businesses. Merchant services is far more than processing transactions. Our team is committed to providing you and your customers with best-in-class service.

With more than $2 trillion in annual payments processed, Fiserv is a proven leader in merchant services. We offer our financial institution partners:

  • Transparency: Our partners have full access to a merchant services portal.
  • Clover: Our advanced POS solution with over one million devices in market, Clover provides the merchant customers with a range of attractive hardware that allows customers to pay by swipe, EMV, or NFC. And our portable device enables pay-in-line and pay-at-table transactions.
  • Localized Account Managers: They know the market, because they live there
  • Certifications: All of our Account Managers are Certified Payments Professionals
  • A Formal Plan: We provide a written six-month Merchant Services Action Plan that sets the tone and direction for our mutual success.

Conclusion

An effective Merchant Services program enhances value for a financial institution’s business accounts while building profitable relationships and realizing incremental revenue. It is essential to find a partner that aligns with your goals and helps simplify the options for your merchant customers. Although competitive pricing is an important factor to consider, it’s not the only one. A solid partner is one that provides the complete package—exceptional service, innovative technology, and advanced security. These differentiators will be the key to driving your earnings higher and establishing deeper relationships.

To learn more about our merchant services program for financial institutions, connect with a certified payment professional today.

1 Source: Raddon Small Business National Research, January 2019

2 Source: Proprietary First Data and Accenture Merchant Services Impact Analysis, 2020