Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs)

Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) are third-party companies authorized to market or lease payment processing services on behalf of banks or other payment processors.

They serve as important intermediaries in the payment industry, forming a bridge between merchants desiring to accept card payments and the card networks or processors capable of providing these services.

ISOs operate under the umbrella of card networks like Visa or MasterCard and must register with them to acquire and maintain their status as ISOs. Being an ISO requires compliance with a wide range of rules, regulations, and requirements set forth by these card networks, which may include the following:

  • risk management protocols
  • financial and operational standards
  • ethical guidelines

ISOs play a crucial role in the payment ecosystem, bringing payment processing services to a wider range of businesses, including those in hard-to-reach or underserved markets.