Are you asking how to start a third party processor? Have at it, it takes anywhere from $500,000 to $2,000,000 to become one. You have to have cash and a whole bunch of bank connections. (something like that). Or are you asking about how to get a 3PP so you can accept CC's from people? If so, go with Chris @ CDGcommerce.
If you are thinking of starting a 3 party CC processor:
I strong urge you not as without sounding insulting. You wouldnt have to post to these forums to ask. All 3rd party processors and run be persons who have lenghty experience in the banking industry. You have be good in Risk assesment and have a very good banking hat on
If i was you i'd follow the reseller route by working as a ISO. Someone suggested Chris above and he comes highly recommended. However if you require international support you could try www.process54.com as they cover everwhere bar the USA.
Philman and 74s3 are right on target. And thanks for the kind words.
In earlier years, becoming a 3rd party processor was not as difficult but today - it is nearly impossible to even get underwritten by a bank for such a service. Most banks will not even touch it or consider it under ANY circumstances.
In addition, even assuming that you had the significant amount of capital AND the proper relationships in the banking industry to convince a bank to underwrite you... you have a myriad of logistical issues to evaluate and overcome.
One major mis-step in risk management and you can be out of business and owing thousands of merchants money. If your chargeback ratios get too high - same situation. You WILL take losses due to fraud - it is inevitable - and you would need the capital in place to absorb these losses while staying in business.
You would need the technology in place to handle fraud scrubbing, order processing, payment disbursements and reporting.
You would need to build your own front-end system to interface with the various shopping carts and billing packages on the market today - and get their support in the process to integrate into your API.
You would need a support staff to handle pre-sales, new account, merchant/customer/technical support and risk management... and you'd need to have a veteran team for the IT, Risk Management and Development part of the biz.
You'd of course also need to setup the necessary server and network facilities for this as well. You'd need to go through the Visa CISP compliance program and audits which by itself is a very non-trivial, arduous and expensive process. You would also need to register with Visa and MasterCard, again persuant to yet another level of scrutiny.
My hope is that by outlining all of the above, it explains "why" a lot of us say what we say regarding this. We aren't trying to burst your bubble and I can see why a 3PP biz seems enticing but there is so much "beneath the surface" that you should be aware of prior to considering actually starting such a business.
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There was actually another thread about this a few weeks ago (I tried to search for it - but could not some of the keywords). We did start up one for the medical field / employee benefits & then branched it out to South America. I talked them into branching it out to other parts - basically starting up other companies & outsourcing it from the main company. This helps to keep the liability off the main company just in case.
I do not recommend it at all. You have to have emmaculate credit. It takes a lot of time & patience. We do have a bank that we use. We outsourced a lot of the customer service thru First Data - they are the largest processor in the world. They own Telecheck & Western Union. I depise dealing with corporations so we did have a lot of problems.
Was it worth it? I still have not decided on that. It is a nice set-up I will say. A fantastic idea (since it was mine of course ) - but pulling it - that is an entirely another procedure.