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Meet Ben Sumi of Transparency Payments

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Sumi.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
The second chapter of my life started around the time I was 20 years old. Through a series of mistakes I made, I found myself unemployed, moving back in with my parents and in debt. I had two plans, run away to Mexico or join the military. I joined the Navy and the first job available, which just so happened to be volunteering, for submarine duty. It was the best worst decision of my life but after five years, I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do with my life.

I got out in 2015 and went back to college and in 2018, graduated from Bellevue University with a BS in Project Management. The whole time I was working full-time in various contracting positions for the military. The more I worked for the military and government, the more depressed I found myself. I went from company to company, gaining no real fulfillment in life, it seemed like an agonizing extension of my time in the service. The catch, though, was the longer I worked in these positions the harder it was for me to find a job doing anything else! My real blessing came in the form of a real disaster. In February of 2021, I got a new job. I still, to this day, don’t know what their deal was but a month later, they said they didn’t need another Project Manager anymore and let me go. It sucked, but as the old saying goes, “when one door closes, another opens.” I have always had dreams of starting my own businesses, from restaurants to apps – I have a whole file folder on my phone dedicated to jotting down business ideas when I think of them.

Years ago, I met a friend in the merchant services industry. He explained the workings of it to me and it sounded pretty interesting, but at the same time, I was still serving on submarines and never had enough time on land to look into it. It just so happened that around the time I got laid off, I found a training program led by Dave and Patricia Carlin – global leaders in the industry. It was a risk, you never know these days what’s real and what’s not but at the end of the day, you have to either take the leap or stay where you are. At that point in my life, I was ready for a change – I did not want to go back working in a shipyard or as a contractor for people that just didn’t give a (bleep) about anyone under them. In March of 2021, I started my own merchant services business, Transparency Payments.

What is merchant services? Well, in simple terms, I’m like a broker dedicated to helping other business owners find the best solutions to process credit card and digital payments. Every time businesses accept credit/debit cards or even e-checks, there are fees associated between the card networks and the banks. My whole purpose revolves around not only getting them to pay the lowest rates (meaning more money they get to keep) but knowing they have a dedicated agent they can always reach, anytime. All of my clients have my direct cell #, there are no robots or menus.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Is it easy? Ha it seems like it would be, I’m my own boss, right!? Well, the truth is, nothing ever is but it’s my business and to me that’s what matters! My success is based solely on my will to keep trying and never give up. My biggest struggle is getting the ball rolling, so to speak. I find through most of my networking events I have attended – a lot of people are looking for others to use their services but not really interested in exploring what others have to offer. That’s not how I do things. I am a big believer of word of mouth and supporting the businesses I look to serve. Whether that is through sampling their products, being a customer myself, or sharing their story on my social media. It’s about building the relationship – which is harder than it sounds. I have a saying, “your trust is my success”. I want my clients, or potential clients to trust that I have their best interests at heart and will be there to support them 24/7/365.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Transparency Payments?
My business is in the Merchant Services industry. My mission is to save business owner’s money on credit/debit card processing. Anytime businesses accept credit/debit cards or Google/Apple pay – either physically, over the phone or on a website – the business ends up paying fees. These fees get paid to the card networks, the banks and the service provider. In recent years there have been an increase in third-party payment processors. Examples include Square, Stripe, Toast, etc.

While these may seem great because of the ease of use and quick application process, these third-party processors are known for lack of customer support, high fees and instability. I’m not trying to bash these third-party processors here; sometimes, they are the right solution for some business owners. I just like to make sure business owners are informed of the differences; that way, they can make educated decisions. With me, you get a real merchant account with stability designed to grow with your business. With that comes a real merchant statement every month, with a detailed breakdown of your fees. (Note, this is something you won’t get from third-party processors. You will get a flat rate or subscription and a “sales summary,” making it hard to pinpoint what you’re really paying).

I offer free consultations and will provide your business with a free Cost Savings comparison. It literally will cost you nothing for me to show you how your business can benefit from my services. On top of it all, there are never any contracts or early termination fees. If I can’t save you money, I’ll give you $100.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My best advice is to just get out there and connect with as many people as possible. I am a big fan of networking through events (now that COVID-19 is coming down), but also Facebook groups and leveraging social media. Be professional and build the relationship. Also, I highly recommend reading the book “Rejection Proof” by Jia Jang. It was a big help to me in how I carry myself and interact with potential clients.

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