After many years working for direct funders in the online alternative finance industry, I noticed a lack of a primary source that provides the information funders/lenders need to grow their partner base of Independent Sales Organizations(ISO). I have done business with hundreds of ISOs and brokers and thought it would solve a problem to provide as much reliable information as possible on ISOs if done with integrity.
During my due diligence to see if there was the need I thought there was, I reached out to some trusted colleagues in the industry that have been ISO managers, worked directly for lenders in other capacities, and even some loan brokers. When I asked my first question of where do you find more ISOs it always started with the same answer, search online. That was a basic search, not even finding the few online database sites or other resources. Many had to goto the popular industry message boards to ask people for lists. Others knew people from funding companies that asked to buy a lists from them. That was the moment I knew I had something!
I then set out to do something with this problem. I had to gather and organize all the ISO companies I have in my database then find as many as possible operating today. So I went through many hours of research to come up with our database now. However, looking at the big picture, I wanted to find ways to make this as big and meaningful as possible.
In my previous roles we took all of our ISOs and rated them according to certain categories including volume, business practices, employees, and more. I then set out to figure out a rating system to make that part of this business. Who would be the users? With integrity being a main part of any rating system we have to limit users to verified funders, lenders, lead providers and possibly super ISOs.
Our initial beta roll out was immediately getting noticed with minimum marketing efforts. As we started to gain traction, we made some changes and upgrades to enhance the experience overall. We will be adding more ratings from conducting our own research to some of the ones we don't know but will rely mostly on members to rate and review.
So with what we want to accomplish in the big picture vision for the Merchant Cash Advance industry, I welcome you to join us on this journey. We don't need the government to create a massive amount of regulation if we can self regulate to an extent that benefits everyone including the merchants and small business owners trying to get a business loan. That means we must create a system that rewards ISOs/brokers that value ethics and good business practices and reduce the ability for those who don't to be able to continue to get their deals funded. If not already doing so, you need a system to terminate ISOs who aren't performing. A big part of that should be a central source that tracks performance and displays ratings, reviews and other vital intel about their business. That central source is Funder Intel.