Managing commissions within the merchant services and payment processing industry can rapidly become a significant drain on operational effectiveness. As a key component of your business model, the accurate tracking and reconciliation of terminal sales and transaction commissions is essential. But all too often, issues arise – hampering your ability to scale and impacting the relationship that you’re able to establish and maintain with your active agents. 

In this article, we’ll explore five of the key issues that can commonly occur when it comes to the effective management of payment processing commissions – and suggest a few easy fixes that you might like to consider implementing.


1. Failure To Automate 

There’s a reason that automation tools have dominated within the world of SaaS for the last decade. Extending your capacity in the most reliable and seamless way, automation boosts your bottom line twice: once as it improves your efficiency and again with the reduction you can expect to see in errors.

The transactional world of payment processing and merchant services is a particularly data heavy industry. Working manually with spreadsheets is one solution – but this approach can only scale so far, and ultimately, is going to end up hampering your ability to grow (as well as frustrating your staff and carrying the potential to eat into huge amounts of their time and capacity.)

With so many inputting factors coming into play (especially with multiple payment processors involved) the risk of human error is also fairly significant – and has the potential to be costly. Automation helps solve these problems, leveraging AI and machine learning to provide a truly dependable tracking and management system. Within the realm of commission, it enables you to create workflows that are a match for growing future ambitions.

In the case of Commissionly, imported transactional data will automatically map your agents to the customers MID number, Name or Code. This alone can save untold hours of manual effort. Similarly, in the case of your transaction report commissions, any splits that are required between agents can be set up and handled automatically – reducing the margin for error and giving your team one less process to factor into their individual workflows.


2. Missed Opportunities To Gain Insight From Data 

As previously mentioned, the payment processing and merchant services sector is a data-heavy space, and this can be framed as a challenge to be mitigated – or as an untapped benefit, ready for careful leverage. The sheer amount of information generated by the actions of your agents unlocks the opportunity for deep, actionable insight and ongoing operational efficiencies.

In order to fully capitalize on this valuable stream of data, you’ll need a way to generate clear reports that can highlight areas of potential and flag up issues that require attention  or improvement. Commissionly helps make this process simple, connecting directly to your CRM or a sales platform via a wide range of integrations, including Salesforce, Hubspot, Monday and Zapier. You can also sync to any system leveraging Rest APIs. The outcome? Clarity and control over your data – showing you the next best step, via custom reporting.


3. Ineffective Data Import 

When it comes to mapping and recording transaction commissions (as well as recording additional data points such as terminal sales) one necessity really stands out: flexibility at scale. Business models are unique, and likely in ongoing states of evolution and flux. As a result, transaction reports need the ability to accurately accommodate a wider range of data points. Reports should also be easy to customize, amend and reconfigure.

Within the realm of payment processing, a solution that enables you to easily track and attribute data points such as customer MID numbers, Names or Codes. This is where flexible, customer templating comes into its own. Commissionly offers the ability to structure your pay terminal commissions based on any combination of terminal type, monthly charge, contract length add ons and more.


4. Inefficient Clawback Processes 

Claw back is a necessary evil, and while it’s something we all hope to minimise the need for, the importance of an effective claw back process if a merchant does churn cannot be overstated. Once again, the key word here is scale – as your number of operational agents grows, your ability to keep track of this process with any degree of efficiency or accuracy diminishes.

Improvements to your clawback procedure is about more than just ensuring your own operational efficiency and profitability – it can also play a key role in keeping your agents motivated and informed. Having a dedicated solution in place here plays a role in helping your business attain wider transparency in this field. Additionally, there are clear benefits to having an automated clawback process that syncs into wider reporting.


5. Poor Communication Of Progress And Targets To Agents

We’ve previously touched on transparency, but it should be stressed that the benefits here go beyond the realm of clawbacks. There are big benefits linked to better communication of progress and targets more broadly.

Beyond this, if many other previously time-consuming areas of commission tracking, attribution  and management have been automated and optimized, the time won back can be reinvested into the training, guidance and assistance of agents. This additional contact and education can be optimized via the clarity brought by better reporting and more clearly illuminated trends.

One outcome of working with a dedicated commission management solution such as Commissionly is the ability to set realistic expectations of progression. Forecasted targets can be used to help motivate and (crucially) retain your agents – a big factor in their ongoing loyalty and success with you! Success here means a reduction in your ongoing acquisition costs, and a more experienced and effective agent base.


Side Step Common Payment Processing Commission Issues

As this article has shown, the payments processing industry is plagued by a small handful of 

Common (but persistent) commissioning headaches. By taking action to remedy these problems and apply a long term solution, some significant advantages can be unlocked – unlocking optimized procedures, more internal efficiencies, boosted revenues and valuable insight into ongoing operational performance.

A few tweaks to your operations within the realm of payment processing commission have the impact to send positive, profitable ripples across all levels of your business. With a vertical specialism in the payment processing commissions sector,  Commissionly represents the ideal solution for delivering these changes – bringing benefits that extend far beyond your commissioning departments, via increased efficiency, improved forecasting and data-backed decision making.


The global digital payments industry is enjoying a period of unprecedented acceleration. Short introduction which covers the general markers of note for the industry in 2021 – giving some stats (i.e. According to, the global digital payments industry is expected to hit $6.6 trillion in value in 2021) and touching on the general rise in innovation / improvements in security / evolution of p2p payments.

The Continued Rise Of ISVs

Developer time is starting to reduce dramatically – this has opened up the market AND means that more niche sectors can be targeted (i.e. just for hair salons, auto repair shops, catering) – this has led to a more fragmented market, which means that smaller ISVs can compete and make a name quickly.

The Need For More Transparency

In the face of the inevitable increase we can expect to see in terms of industry regulation – there will be a rising need to practice SELF regulation as an industry. High profile cases off “rip offs” could easily lead to more draconian regulation, so as an industry, we can help ourselves here. First self-regulate on interchange, then look at pricing. Generally can probably expect to see more pricing-based regulation (i.e. stricter licensing to sell i.e. as with mortgages and insurance.) Transparency and openness to help shine a light on industry and guard against over regulation.

Increased Demand For Identity Authentication

Heightened awareness / concern with identity theft and fraud will drive more innovation around identity assurance. Physical and behavioral biometrics can be applied as authentication methods for card-not-present (CNP) transactions, with face-based biometric authentication becoming much more commonplace (thanks to our all-present mobile devices!)

Crypto As A Mainstream Form Of Payment

The need / expectation for crypto to be accepted as a form of payment – going the same way as Apple Pay etc a few years ago. Perhaps not achieving this “mainstream” status in 2022 – but certainly on its way, and driving the demand for low cost payment acceptance (this will have an impact on fintech’s interest in developing ACH offerings – promising the ability to maximize revenue and improve on vital KYC.) 

An Increased Focus On Authorization Rate Optimization

Machine learning and data increasingly leveraged to advance ARO – best suited to businesses taking high volume digital transactions, but principals that can be applied to benefit any merchant. Talk about optimized payment flows, collection / submission of additional billing info and a reduction in fraud rates (to avoid high chargebacks and increased declines.)


Sum up by framing 2022 as a period of opportunity, innovation and challenge. Highlight the need for internal efficiencies and improved accuracy – positioning Commissionly as the perfect solution – able to bring down operating costs, helpfully and productively harness your data and create more motivated agents as you head into a successful new year.