United Payment Services has built its own online payment gateway to attract and retain merchants, Scott Rosen, president and CEO of the Westlake Village, Calif.-based independent sales organization, tells CardLine sister publication ISO&Agent Weekly. Gateways enable merchants to use a high-speed broadband connection to connect to multiple processors for their payment transactions. The main reason for launching the gateway, dubbed United Connect, is so the ISO can control all aspects of technical support, transaction-reporting services for merchants and pricing, Rosen says. "We wanted everything in-house," he says. The gateway also is a tool to lower the ISO's merchant-attrition rate, Rosen says. Because transactions move over the Internet and each point-of-sale terminal does not need a dedicated phone line, merchants using United Connect usually see lower pricing than those using dial-up POS terminals. Another ISO, New York-based Cynergy Data LLC, says that difference may be 50% to 60% less, though most ISOs mark up the actual rate the merchant ultimately pays. "Merchants want to lower their costs and be serviced," Rosen says. "That has never changed. Now, cost has come to an even higher level of importance." Merchants using United Connect also will not store transaction data on their payment devices. Instead, United Payment retains the information, which merchants can access via a unique identifying number that acts as a token to retrieve the data.

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