Should I Become a Credit Card Broker?
Credit card brokers connect small business owners to banks that offer credit card merchant account services, thus allowing businesses to accept credit cards as a means of payment. Brokers often make money via a finder's fee from the credit card processor, an up-front fee paid for their work or a percentage of the transaction fees paid by merchants. Many brokers spend significant time and energy seeking new clients and establishing strong working relationships with banks.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree is highly recommended and required by most employers|
|Degree Field||Finance, marketing, business administration, or similar field|
|Training||Though not required, an internship or employment with a bank or local business to gain training in banking or merchant credit card practices can be beneficial|
|Key Skills||Business and marketing skills, verbal and written communication skills, prospecting and cold-calling skills|
|Salary (2016)*||$50,000 per year (median for all credit card merchant services account managers)|
Source: *PayScale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Steps to Be a Credit Card Broker
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in an Applicable Field
Credit card brokers require both familiarity with the workings of the business world and the capacity to sell their services to interested merchants. There are several bachelor's degrees prospective brokers can earn to prepare them for this career. For instance, a marketing curriculum teaches students how to appeal to consumers' needs and motivation by understanding their customer, their product, and the societal context in which those both exist. This information guides prospective brokers on how to best anticipate and fill customers' needs.
Finance courses educate students on how financial institutions operate, preparing brokers to work with banks. A bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing or finance is another option that offers coursework directly related to a career as a credit card broker. Some colleges and universities even offer curricula specifically geared towards a future in the banking industry.
Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Banking and Credit Card Industries
The bachelor's degree programs mentioned acquaint prospective brokers with various aspects of the economic landscape. However, brokers can acquire more experience by finding employment in the banking industry to gain a first-hand understanding of how it operates. They can also attain knowledge from the merchant's side of things, perhaps by interning or otherwise spending time with local merchants who accept credit cards. This experience prepares them to understand the needs of their future clientele.
Step 3: Network
Credit card brokers must immerse themselves in their local business community in order to prosper financially and advance their careers in the industry. Since brokers act as intermediaries between business owners and banks, they must network with both worlds. For instance, credit card brokers must be proactive in finding clients and knowing the business climate of one's community makes that process easier. Similarly, brokers have to know about different services, rates, and other features offered by various banks in order to fill the needs of their merchant clients. This is more easily facilitated by cultivating contacts within the banking industry.
In summary, credit card brokers typically have a bachelor's degree in business, finance, marketing, or a related field, and the median annual salary as of 2016 was $50,000.