Lisa Coyle is co-owner of 360 Payments, a credit card processing company specializing in the automotive repair vertical. 360 Payments, based in Silicon Valley, processes approximately $3 billion a year in credit cards; however, Coyle says she focuses on quality over quantity when it comes to business, and shares her thoughts on what to expect from your ISO payments processor.


Ethics is a core value for you and 360 Payments. What sets one ISO payment processor apart from another in regard to business practices?


Coyle:  In an industry with a reputation that’s marred by a few bad actors, integrity and trust are sacred. My business partner, Steve Ciabattoni, and I began our careers at the original Heartland Payment Systems, where we learned what ‘doing right by the customer’ really meant. And when we founded 360 Payments nearly a decade ago, our goal was to remove the stigma of credit card processing by delivering both honest service and pain-free payments to our customers. We went looking for financial and software partners that shared our vision.


We discovered First American through an acquisition — and what a blessing that turned out to be. First American understands that it takes years to build a reputation and minutes to lose it, and prides itself on being a trusted partner with a focus on customer service.


What solutions do you credit for accelerating your ISOs productivity?


Coyle:  Flexibility and customization. 360 Payments processes about $3 billion a year in credit cards — last month our total was $245 million. Our typical client processes more volume than the average credit card processing merchant, with each account averaging approximately $50,000 a month in credit card sales. For us, it’s mission critical to find a payments partner that understands our ISO model. First American’s ISO team has worked diligently to both identify and create customized solutions for us, including an integrated boarding tool, flat-rate pricing and next-day funding.


Most recently, First American opened its API to our boarding tool, allowing us to eliminate data entry duplication among our CRM and other processing systems. That may sound simple, but the onboarding process, from hardware installation to system initialization, for many payments processors is difficult. First American has worked with us to make boarding as seamless as possible, and this API integration solution has reduced our application approval time by one full day, and increased our efficiency as we can focus our time and energy on tasks outside of data entry.


The payments processing industry is complicated, and pricing is often the biggest beast to tame when it comes to getting a sales rep acclimated and productive. First American’s knowledge of our business helped us identify a flat-rate pricing model that allows us to be competitive, even against Square and Stripe in many cases, without increasing our risk. With flat-rate pricing, our existing sales reps have increased our new MID count by 46 percent in one year.


Combine our API integration and flat-rate pricing with next-day funding and we have a trifecta for success. First American’s 7 p.m. PST batch cut-off time allows our merchants to have their funds processed and available within 24 hours, which helps them grow their businesses and 360 Payments grow ours. 


Tell us more about the value of customization to your ISO.


Coyle:  Many acquiring partners put merchants in a box, thinking they have the perfect algorithm for every vertical; they see deals in black and white. The willingness of a payment processor to listen to a sales rep or me, the owner, about a specific partnership or deal, makes a world of difference to an ISO’s success.


One example is an underwriting program that First American put together for our automotive shops, where specific industries—if they hit certain criteria—the accounts will automatically pass through underwriting without being scrutinized. They see the big picture across industries and relationships and software partners and work to make it simple for us to get deals approved as quickly as possible; they continually work with us to replicate that service on different verticals of interest to us.


What service can an ISO offer to add value to your business? 


Coyle:  There is a lot of overpromising and underdelivering in payments processing. Many companies claim they can save you money, but for how long? Others speak about a personal touch and customer service, but actually connecting with the appropriate staff members can be a challenge. As a business owner, we tell merchants that they know their CPA and they know their bankers; it’s equally important that they know their payments processor and that their processor knows them—access and service are essential for success.


360 Payments has been named an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in America for five consecutive years, an accomplishment that only four percent of companies can claim. That accomplishment is a direct result of our desire to put our customers first. At 360 Payments, our mantra is that we treat our customers the same way we would treat our grandmothers—we answer their calls, we listen to their needs and we, quite simply, take care of them.


First American treats us like family. We know essentially everyone—the President and CFO, the CEO, the underwriters, as well as the customer service, marketing and ISO teams—and we can contact any of them at any time. Whether we need to solve a problem or simply want to tap into the team’s expertise, we can pick up the phone or drop in for a visit. We know that 360 Payments isn’t just seen as another one of First American’s ISOs; we are truly a partner.


What’s love got to do with business?


Coyle:  Love is the number one core value at 360 Payments. Everything we do starts with love and respect—from the way we treat our customers to the way we conduct business operations, we value people over processes and do the right thing, even when no one is looking.  


Having a business partner, like First American, who shares this mindset makes everything else easy.


To learn more about how First American can help you grow your ISO business, contact us today.