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Any organization (or business) that wishes to accept credit or debit card payments directly must obtain a Merchant Services Account (or equivalent). In many ways a Merchant Services Account is like a bank account. Many of the same standards for security, identity verification, and fraud prevention apply for Merchant Services Accounts as they do for traditional bank accounts.
Merchant Services Accounts are fairly complex and include a number of moving parts including the card networks (like Visa and Mastercard), issuing and acquiring banks, gateways, and software providers. At Givr we work with one of the best merchant services providers for churches and nonprofits, Paperless Transaction Corporation. Paperless Transaction Corporation serves churches and nonprofits exclusively and has spent more than 15 years working to provide the best possible rates and service to churches and nonprofits in the U.S.
Paperless Transaction Corporation has made obtaining a Merchant Services Account easy for churches. The process takes about 3-5 business days during which a Paperless Transaction Corporation account representative leads you through the process of establishing a Merchant Services account for your organization. There is no setup or signup fee for this service and you get full access to Paperless Transaction Corporation’s customer support services when you sign up for a merchant services account.
Once your account is created, Givr will link your Paperless Transaction Corporation merchant services account to your Givr account. At this point all gifts through Givr to your church will be processed with your Paperless Transaction Corporation merchant services account.
Your account representative at Paperless Transaction Corporation will answer all your questions about payment processing and merchant services.
If you have spent any time studying donation services then you know that prices can vary widely between providers. At Givr and Paperless Transaction Corporation we work hard to bring clarity to the complex pricing of Merchant Services Accounts and donation services.
We follow a consistent pricing model that includes no additional fees, markups, or service charges.
The actual fees charged by Visa, Discover, American Express, and MasterCard vary wildly from card to card, sometimes by as much as 1-2%. Normally, processors will bundle all transactions into a “tier” or “bucket” and charge a single rate for that bucket. Under the “tiered” arrangement, if a card network like Visa charges a rate below the payment processor’s rate for that “bucket” or “tier” then the payment processor captures the balance, thus earning additional revenue at the organization’s expense.
Rather than capturing that pricing difference for themselves, Paperless Transaction Corporation offers a unique and valuable pricing model called “interchange plus”. Paperless Transaction Corporation passes on the exact fee charged by the card networks (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) without any bundling or markup. Only then do they add their flat fee of 0.50%.
With this pricing model comes two benefits. First, you have clarity and know exactly what fees you are paying, and to whom. Second, it guarantees the absolute lowest possible rates for your church.
Here’s the breakdown for credit and debit cards:
|Credit card companies||0.20% - 1.70% (+ $0.30)|
|Paperless Transaction Corp.||0.50%|
|TOTAL||0.7% - 2.2% (+ $0.30)|
The average church or nonprofit sees average total fees of about 2.5% + $.30.
Soon Givr will also begin to offer ACH (bank draft) payments through Paperless Transaction Corporation processing accounts. Donors will be able to link any bank account (or multiple accounts) to their Givr account and initiate gifts straight from their bank account. Here is the fee structure for ACH gifts:
|Paperless Transaction Corp.||$0.25|
All Givr accounts come with no setup fees, annual fees, compliance fees, or cancellation fees.
Unlike Paperless Transaction Corporation, WePay does not offer formal merchant services accounts to churches or organizations. Instead, they offer something called a Third Party Aggregator account. With TPA accounts WePay processes transactions in their name on your behalf. All gifts still qualify for tax deductibility and are considered as gifts to your church, but this processing option removes the requirement for your church to obtain a formal merchant services account to begin using Givr.
This is useful if you need to get started immediately and cannot wait the 3-5 days to establish a formal merchant services account through Paperless Transaction Corporation. WePay is also useful for organizations that are just getting started or have not requested formal 501c3 documentation from the IRS.
With WePay you are able to set up the account on your own without any assistance from Givr. Simply complete the account creation process for your organization at Givr.org and visit the “Payments” section of the Givr administrative portal. There you can select “WePay” to set up your WePay account for processing payments.
It takes about 3-5 minutes to complete this process and set up a WePay account for your church. For more information about how WePay accounts work you can visit WePay’s support site: https://support.wepay.com/forums/256229-Learn-about-WePay
With your WePay payment processing account your church will pay a flat fee for all credit or debit card transactions, regardless of the rate charged by the credit card companies.
Here’s the breakdown for credit and debit cards from WePay:
|WePay||2.90% + $0.30|
|TOTAL||2.90% + $0.30|
Unfortunately, WePay processing accounts do not support ACH (bank draft) transactions.
|WePay||Paperless Transaction Corporation|
|Fees||2.9% + $0.30||0.20% - 1.70% + $0.30|
|Setup||$0, 15 minutes||$0, 3-5 business days|
Givr strongly recommends established churches and nonprofits to obtain their Merchant Services account through Paperless Transaction Corporation. If you wish to begin this process please visit the Payments section of the administrative portal at Givr.org, or contact us at [email protected].
For churches or organizations desiring to do an initial test of Givr we recommend starting with WePay and then migrating to Paperless Transaction Corporation once you decide to use Givr on an ongoing basis in your church or nonprofit.