Setting the Stage for Success: Ensuring your Payments Partner Provides an Exceptional Onboarding Experience

A comprehensive onboarding and support program can help you accelerate your speed to market, maximize revenue, and scale your business for sustainable growth.


Selecting a payments partner can be challenging. The payments industry is complex and constantly evolving with technology changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Whether you are new to the payments industry or a seasoned ISO, a comprehensive onboarding and support program can help you accelerate your speed to market, maximize your revenue potential, and scale your business for sustainable growth.

So, how do you know what to look for when vetting potential payments partners? Beyond traditional support channels, your partner should provide you with a holistic plan to optimize your success through every phase of your payments journey. As the saying goes, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ Let’s take a closer look at a more integrated approach to onboarding: Partner Incubation.

One size does not fit all – a tailored approach to payments

The first step is often the most crucial in your journey. Your payments partner should work with you to design an Incubation Program around your business needs now – and in the future. Let’s consider the key resources and stages that provide the foundation for your success.

If you’re a software company integrating payments with your solution, an Implementation Manager serves as your project manager to guide you through completing your pilot phase, integration, agreements, and certification. Your Implementation Manager ultimately facilitates your next step – incubation and training.

After completing the initial onboarding process, your Partner Incubation Manager is your main point of contact for the first 12 to 24 months of your partnership. As your dedicated resource, your Incubation Manager‘s focus is your success. No matter your size, experience, or tenure with your processor, you should feel confident you are not just another number, but a valued partner building a long-term strategy. This phase sets the stage for your entire partner experience.

Serving as your advocate, the Incubation Manager introduces you to your program, provides a detailed checklist to evaluate your progress and is the liaison for all training and support initiatives. The Partner Incubation checklist is the blueprint for your business growth and quarterly business reviews keep you on track. From submitting your first merchant application to identifying new opportunities, you learn as you go with real-time scenarios for every stage of the partner lifecycle.

Putting it all together – training and ongoing support

Often, payments providers take a ‘one and done’ approach to the onboarding and training process. This can lead to partners never realizing their full potential, experiencing high attrition levels, and feeling a general lack of engagement in the partner program. Conversely, fully engaged partners demonstrate more areas of growth whether it’s increased profits or graduating to new partner levels. To this end, ask your processor to provide success metrics from other partners that are similar to your business and specific objectives.

So, what does that look like? From a training perspective, it’s offering flexible options for learning and development by a specialized team with years of payments experience. Ask your potential partner the various formats they offer their training – onsite, online and/or at a dedicated training facility. If your payment partner only offers a few online training courses and an outdated training manual, it most likely illustrates what the rest of your onboarding experience will be like. Their answer will help determine the scope of the training and how manageable it is for your business. Proactive touch points, whether weekly check-in meetings, quarterly trainings and compensation management sessions help keep you on track.

When you are ready to move on from your incubation period, it’s key that additional support is in place to continue to protect and grow your portfolio for the future. Ask your partner what continued support looks like for their partners. Are there dedicated Portfolio Managers invested in your continued success? All these questions can help you identify the payments provider that is right for you.  

The bottom line

It’s paramount to find the right payments partner that can develop the framework for your success. Backed by the strength and stability of U.S. Bank, Elavon offers a unique Partner Incubation program tailored specifically for your business. Decades of experience working with partners has driven us to develop an exceptional implementation, training, and incubation experience that enables you to achieve your maximum potential as a partner with us.

With more than 325 MSPs/ISOs, we offer flexible partner programs for greater growth and increased revenue. Many of our partner relationships span decades because of our dedicated approach to their success. Whether you are just starting out or looking to plan your exit strategy, we work with you to help you meet and exceed your goals.

Ready to get started? Contact us now or give us a call: 844.983.0994.

Howard Haffner

Howard Haffner is SVP, Partner Incubation, for Elavon.

Zebra Workstation Connect
Howard Haffner
Howard Haffner is SVP, Partner Incubation, for Elavon.