In the build-to-sell world of merchant processing ISOs, I’m sure the question ‘how will the current state of the economy impact the value of my ISO or portfolio’ has been something that most ISOs have been contemplating lately. In recessions in the past, the merchant processing industry has always taken pride in what it believes is a recession proof business. Many ISOs believe that when times get tight, consumers shift from cash to credit cards and consequently merchant processing volumes tend to be stable, sometimes even growing during recessionary periods. However, this recession may be unlike any we’ve seen before. In prior recessions, there was varying degrees of commercial credit available and there was the ability for people to take out home equity lines against their home. In the current recession, credit is extremely tight, and many people’s homes are worth less money than the value of their mortgage – so there is no possibility to take out a home equity line.