Vertical Strategy Process

Bullseye - Attractive-Vertical - Step 1

Attractive Vertical Analysis

Find the best vertical
TSG leverages its AIM platform to identify top performing verticals, based on criteria that is important to the client.
This data identifies custom, granular verticals based on metrics like:
  • Net Processing Revenue
  • Total Net Revenue
  • Volume Per Account
  • New Volume Added
  • Change in Retained Volume
  • Gross Volume Attrition
  • Sales Channel Utilized

Clients have the option to bypass step one if a target merchant vertical is already identified.

Magnifying Glass - List Curation - Step 2

ISV List Curation

Find ISVs in the chosen vertical
TSG leverages its institutional insights and a variety of research techniques, such as interviewing and/or analyzing merchant stakeholders within target verticals to create a curated list of material market players within the target vertical.
The list looks at market-share leading companies as well as a variety of small/medium partners in the space. TSG provides the following:
  • Company Name/Website
  • Key Contacts
    • Name
    • Title
    • Email address
    • Phone number
Light Bulb - Playbook Creation - Step 3

Playbook Creation

Use data to succeed in the vertical
TSG’s Playbook includes a detailed target list, plus a strategic analysis on the vertical.
  • Includes step #2 items plus:
    • Market Share Indicators
    • Card Payment Capability
    • Processor Relationships
    • Representative Clients
    • Other Verticals Served
  • Merchant market size & growth
  • ISV/Target Long Tail Concentration Analysis
  • Heat map of merchant concentration
  • Average acquiring profitability, attrition, residuals, merchant size, average ticket
  • Guidance on serving the vertical from a product and marketing perspective
  • Competitive view of the acquiring landscape

Vertical strategy tools

Market Intelligence

TSG’s ISV database encompasses 1,500+ software providers across multiple vertical markets. TSG’s specialized research ability can curate custom ISV target lists.


TSG Associates, each with more than 25 years' of experience in the industry, come from executive management positions at leading payments companies

Leading Analytics 

TSG’s proprietary Acquiring Industry Metrics (AIM) platform contains a wealth of performance analytics on approximately 4 million U.S. card-accepting merchants.


I’m a believer in TSG’s vertical strategy process – it gave me a target list and it paid for itself.
VP at Top 5 U.S. Merchant Acquirer