Updated: Dec 28, 2020
How It Started.
Hello, and thank you for visiting Zilment! Like lots of other businesses, the idea for Zilment came from personal experience. My parents are both small business owners, and earlier this year they both asked if I knew anything about credit card processing. They both thought they were overpaying but didn't know how to do anything about it. They told me that despite calling their processors once or twice a year to negotiate rates, they were constantly finding their rates increasing.
Coincidentally, I had been doing some research on merchant services and so I figured I would lend them a hand. I was little prepared for what I would find...
Like so many others, the first thing I did was call their existing processors and see if I would have better luck negotiating. After calling several times, spending too much time on hold and a handful of emails later, I was as unsuccessful as they were. Their rates weren't going anywhere.
I next decided to go on Google and typed in "credit card processing." Literally hundreds of options popped up. The first handful seemed reputable, but there was little information available online. The only things that seemed certain were that every one of them promised "great rates" and almost all of them had less than stellar reviews. Not surprising as I haven't met anyone who loved their credit card processor!
Introduction to Sales Agents.
Having picked a handful, I next decided to give them all a ring. The experience almost always went something like this:
I would call
An overeager sales person would answer
I would answer the same handful of questions the other salesperson asked. "Can you send over a statement? Have you considered cash surcharge? Have you heard of Clover? How much do you process per month?"
I would then send over a statement
I would wait several days (or have to follow up) to receive a quote
Once I received a handful of quotes, I next sat down and compared them. I went into this thinking all credit card processors were the same, but I was wrong. Despite all of them offering essentially the same service (processing credit cards), the pricing was all over the place. Some came back with a "flat rate" while others with "interchange plus." Some offered a flat mark-up while others a mark-up that varied based on the card used. After what turned out to be too much time researching on the internet, I was finally able to start making sense of it.
I called back a handful of the sales agents, and this time I was the one asking the questions. I assume they could tell I had done some research, because without even asking, fees started disappearing.
Long story short, I repeated this process several more times (over the course of several weeks), and ultimately was able to get my parents super-competitive rates with great providers.
The Idea for Zilment.
When I told my parents what I was able to save them and how I did it, they immediately thought of some of their friends I might be able to help. I had no idea what I would find! I received statements from ten different business owners, and with the exception of two, all were being overcharged. In fact, one business owner was being overcharged to the tune of $125,000 per year!
Because I had already done it once, negotiating this time was much easier. It was at this point I thought "why stop here?" There are thousands of business owners who are overpaying for credit card processing, and don't have the knowledge nor more importantly time, to go through this painful process.
And that's how the idea for Zilment came about.
What Zilment Does.
Simply put, our goal is to provide every business, no matter how big or small, with access to great and competitive credit card processing. We know how hard it is to run a business, and that's why we believe this process should be fast, transparent and easy.
Not only do we strive to put money back in your pocket, but we've also only partnered with payment processors that share our values and believe in putting merchants first.
We hope you find Zilment to be a helpful tool, and as always please let us know of any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.