Recently we contributed an article on The Fundraising Authority to provide some helpful information for nonprofits interested in credit card processing solutions. If you are a nonprofit considering processing payments or donations via credit or debit cards, you are going to want to find the right integrated payments or merchant services provider. By offering online payment processing, your organization makes it easy for donors to contribute to your cause…especially if they want to set up recurring donations to give-back over the course of the year. Being able to process payments online also makes it easier for nonprofits to collect payments from sponsors, register participants for upcoming fundraising events, and sell items to support their fundraiser.
How do you select a payment processor or merchant account?
Below we outline a few factors for organizations to consider when selecting a merchant services partner:
Easy Account Set-up & Integration
First, you’ll want to be sure that the merchant application is streamlined and that the credit card processing services provided are able to integrate seamlessly with your fundraising platform in order to make the process user-friendly for you and your supporters. Some merchant account applications can take several days of faxing forms back and forth – that isn’t any fun.
Credit Card Processing Fees
Every merchant service provider charges fees for processing transactions. Compare transaction rates (the percentage taken from each transaction made) along with other monthly fees, service fees, charges for support, premiums for mobile processing and more. It is very difficult to accurately access the credit card fees on a standard merchant account – so be sure to read the fine print. Integrated payments that offer a flat-fee can be the way to go to avoid all of these extra fees.
Identify how you will process payments (online, on-site, on-the-go)? If you require processing equipment, you’ll want to find what equipment the vendor provides, the costs associated, and if training and set up is included. Some companies charge hundreds of dollars for credit card terminals, where others include free equipment with their services – rolling up the costs.
Is the company helpful during your search inquiries? Do they provide you with links, research and customer testimonials? Do they have a credited reputation? Do they offer any incentives for becoming one of their valued customers? At some point, you will likely need customer service, so don’t ignore this.
Contractual Obligations and Cancellation Fees
Some companies require annual contracts, and some have early termination fees so be sure to check the fine-print of your contract. Luckily there are some merchant services companies that will pay your termination fees to release you from your current contract if you desire a change.
After considering all of these details, hopefully you’ll be able to find the right merchant services provider for your school or non-profit organization. DoJiggy can assist US clients with non-profit merchant accounts at great rates.