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Sales agents as a way to sell payment-processing services to merchants aren’t going away, but they aren’t staying the same. That’s according to a new research report from Double Diamond Group LLC, a Centennial, Colo.-based payments-advisory firm.

“This is a period of significant change in acquiring,” says Rick Oglesby, senior analyst at Double Diamond.

Despite all of this change, Oglesby dispels the notion that the agent channel will die. “There’s always a drastic reaction when people see a new change,” Oglesby says.

Indeed, in the report, “Agents of Change: The Next Agent Channel and Why You Need It,” 33% of the 21 merchant-acquiring executives interviewed believe the agent channel is increasing in importance, while 38% said it is staying the same and 29% said it was decreasing in importance.

Digital Transactions, August 14, 2014