When it comes to payment processing for the accounts receivable management industry, there is a lot of noise and hype in the marketplace.
When evaluating payment providers or reviewing your current relationships, it’s absolutely critical to examine the collection industry’s best practices to make an informed choice. So, here are a few essential dynamics to consider when bringing on or replacing your payment platform.
With PCI DSS ( Level 1 ) compliance being critical and HIPAA compliance essential for collecting medical debt, agencies might think they’re protected if they have the major areas covered.
However, with the CFPB and TCPA making frequent changes, it’s vital to ensure that you are working with a provider with in-depth compliance in SOC I, SOC II, and NACHA.
Red Flag: If compliance areas aren’t listed on a vendor’s website prominently, be concerned. We recommend requesting copies of a vendors’ compliance certificates. These certifications require annual or sometimes quarterly audits to re-certify, so it's essential to make sure they are up to date.
Deep ARM Experience
Experience in ARM means having their technology and deep-rooted relationships with multiple banking partners. It also helps to have processed millions or billions of dollars in transactions for the ARM industry every year.
Also, experienced payment processors are not likely to have card brand monthly limits for each merchant.
A tell-tale sign to evaluate this is a vendor’s website. If they don’t mention ARM or have several blog posts dedicated to ARM, you should become a little more skeptical.
Multiple Banks that are Ideal for ARM
Whether it’s fair or not, ARM is considered a high-risk industry, and the most significant impact this has is on the Sponsor Bank, which funds the merchant’s bank account . . . a vital piece of the process.
Experienced ARM payment processors know that having multiple banking relationships is essential, so if one bank cannot process for some reason, you will not experience interruptions with your processing.
Sponsor Banks with experience with high-risk industries understand the ARM space and will happily take on this business. Make sure your vendor discloses its Sponsor Bank and uses several banks.
Many Processing Model Options
Another aspect to consider is that every collection agency is different, and your payment processor should provide a model that is yours. The best model is a platform developed directly by the payment provider themselves. They’ll be more responsive, knowledgeable, stable, and innovative than a reseller.
However, if you want a third-party gateway, make sure they can provide that model. And although there are a few models that aren’t recommended for the ARM industry, like payment facilitators, or PayFac, if you want to go that route, ask if they support this emerging model. In addition to these best practices, there are several other considerations for making sure your payment platform aligns with your business and the ARM industry. Contact us for more information.