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Credit Card Processing for Non Profit Organizations

There are some credit card processing companies that offer services for credit card

processing in non-profit organizations. Since nonprofit organizations are not about making

money, the fees charged for credit card processing may cause a strain in the activities of the

organizations. These organizations still need to accept donations through secure and

flexible channels, one of them being through credit cards. Donors are always paying bills,

buying food and shopping using their cards; they will definitely use the same when making

donations. Non-profit organizations still have to keep PCI standards when accepting these



There are several options for non-profit organizations when it comes to handling credit

card processing fees without putting a dent in their donations.


Third party processors


Most merchants use third party processors for processing credit card transactions within

the business. Third party processors have their own merchant account where the funds

from the transactions are collected. Non-profit organizations can use third party

processors to accept donations where the cash will be collected to the third party account

and then forwarded to the organization minus the processing fees with a little delay.


The problem with using third party processors to process card payments is the name that

will be recorded in the donors card statement will be of the third party company and not

the nonprofit organization and this can raise some concerns and confusion with the donor.

In some cases, donors have come to protest these charges and this leads to charge backs.


Setting up merchant account


Setting up a merchant account is the best option for a nonprofit organization because the

name that will show up in the donor card statements will be that of the organization. The

major concern with setting up a merchant account will be the cost of set up and transaction

fees. There are some programs with special packages for non-profit organizations in order

to reduce the cost of managing their transactions. You can find the most suitable through

Some of the features of favorable Nonprofit merchant services include:


1. No complicated contracts, no penalties

There are some merchant service providers who offer simple contracts for NGOs

with no hidden costs of penalties. Normally, businesses are often penalized for

terminating the service earlier than stipulated by the contact. However, if the NGO

fails or meets its targets in donations, they can cancel the service without any



2. One rate transaction

Rather than charging different transaction rates for qualified, mid qualified and non-

qualified transaction, the merchant service can charge the same rate for all

transactions and all cards. This makes it easier to accept donations from all over the



3. Integration on different processing modes

You do not always have to keep a card reader with you. If you are receive donations

from all over the place, you need to work with a merchant processor who can give

access to process payments through mobile devices, computers and card readers

depending on which is convenient for you at that time.

Credit Card Processing Fees Explained

There are various fees involves in credit card processing, and they can be quite complicated

if you do not understand them. Accepting credit card payments in your business is great for

your customers and drumming up more business. You have to pay for credit card

processing if you are going to accept credit cards in your business transactions. The

following are some of the things you need to know to get familiar with these costs.


Pricing Models


Pricing models refer to the different ways that a credit card processing can charge you for

processing transactions. There are three main pricing models:


  1.  Interchange plus pricing model: It is the simplest to understand pricing model forcredit card transactions. All the wholesale fees and markups will be itemized andclearly listed on your monthly statement. It’s a great pricing model because you cansee the clear difference between the wholesale and markups
  2.  Tiered pricing model: Many businesses often work with the tiered plan. The pricingmodel will put the credit card transactions in three categories: qualified, mid-qualified and un-qualified. The processing fees increase from qualified to non-qualified transactions. Therefore, if the person swipes the card in person with batchsettlement on the same day, you will pay lower processing fees.
  3.  Subscription/ membership pricing model: This is the latest pricing system thatseems to be catching on with most businesses. It is quite similar to the interchangeplus pricing model, however, you do not have to pay a percentage mark up, only atransaction free. This kind of pricing for processing cards can save a lot of money with the same level of transparency.


Break down of each fee


There are two main types of fees charged by credit card processor.


1. Transaction fees are the fees assessed for every transaction that you run. The

Interchange reimbursement fees are the transactional fees charged for the

transaction by the bank or credit card company. They represent the largest expense

that you will pay per sale. The fee is a combination of a percentage of the transaction

and a flat per transaction fee.


2. Flat fees are negotiable and greatly vary by name and application. Terminal fees are

charged to businesses that have physical stores where customers swipe their cards

directly. Businesses that operate online do not have to pay terminal fees, the instead

pay the payment gateway fees. Payment Card Industry fees are paid for compliance

or not compliance to holding PCI standards. Annual fees are charged every year for

the service provider. In case you cancel your contract with the credit card process,

you may have to pay early termination fees. You can also pay monthly fees for call

center costs. Statement fees if you want to get a credit card statement for your

transactions, although you can lower credit card processing fee by using your

electronic bill statement instead. Merchant account providers may also charge an

IRS reporting fee for reporting transaction information to the IRS. In addition, you

may have to pay network fees, which are non-negotiable.

Chocking Under Exorbitant Credit Card Processing Fees? Time to Seek Alternatives

Was it too good to be true or simply a gimmick to hook small businesses? Well, whatever

the answer the party came to a screeching stop with Square Up’s Credit Card Processing

Service cancelling the flat rates that had sought to revolutionize this industry. Now it is

back to the old exorbitant rates that the Entrepreneurship Organization (EO) blames for

over 39% of business fails.


A Case for Flat Rates in Credit Card Processing


As a business owner you appreciate the role credit card processing services play in your

business. With over 99% of sales are now done using plastics it means you have to process

these payments by integrating your Pont of Sale (POS) to the best processing company.

The problem comes in selecting the best because most of them indeed have high rates. It is

against this background that Square Up’s entry into the market with came as a relief for

business owners. With flat rates gone it means the company has adopted the ‘per swipe’

fee and a higher rate if you enter a transaction manually.


With discontinuation of the flat rate pricing of $275 per month with some restrictions

Square has now joined other expensive processing company. The fixed swipe rate of 2.75%

of volume or the 3.5% of volume for keyed fees where the card is not present makes it

quite expensive.


Reducing the Cost of Card Processing


The case of Square is just a sample of what happens in an industry where the customer in

this case your business has no voice. A report on Wall Street Journal shows that over 87%

of retail entrepreneurs decry the high cost of credit card processing as prohibitive.

In essence, you need to look for an alternative that will help reduce cost of accepting

credit cards because these high rates essentially stung growth. This is where an

established financial expert comes in. PYMNT Advisors has been in this industry for years

working with partners such as Forbes, the Wall Street Journal among others.


Through a simple process these advisors are able to analyze your statement and identify

the best credit card processing firm for you. When you visit

you just need to submit your statement which will be analyzed at no cost before getting

feedback on the most suitable processor.


This analysis entails key aspects such as:


  1.  Business type
  2.  Chargeback ratio
  3.  Monthly transaction volume
  4.  Average ticket
  5.  Processing amount
  6.  Percentage of cars swiped vs. manually keyed.


There are many other credit card processing services out there ready to reduce cost of

accepting credit cards for businesses but doing research is both arduous and time

consuming. With a financial partner doing this part for you the process becomes easier to

handle. Other companies that are in the game include PayPal, EMS, Intuit, Flagship

Merchant Services, Amazon Local register, BluePay among many others.


Are you ready to start reaping from your increasing sales volumes? It is time to link up with

a financial advisor to help you identify a credit card processing service that is compatible

with your business.

Applying for a Merchant Account

You can open your own merchant account or use a third party credit card processor to

accept payments from customer credit cards. The merchant account is where the credit

card company sends funds deducted from customer accounts to pay for the purchases they

make. You can also use a third party account to accept these payments. The credit card

company will send the processed payments to the third party payment account and the

third party company will forward the funds to your business account minus the service

charges and transaction fees.


You can apply for a merchant account with a local bank or through a merchant service

provider. You may need the following to apply:


  • You need to have a business account
  • Business information including name and location
  • Sometimes you may need a business license
  • Consider underwriting


You can also do a few things to increase your chances of eligibility for a merchant account.


Good credit ratings


Past bankruptcies, late payments or outstanding bills can affect your business’ credit

ratings. You need to clean up your credit ratings before you apply for a merchant account.

You can contact companies that generate credit reports and request them to clean up your

credit history telling them if all these factors have been resolved. A good credit rating

makes a great impression on credit card transaction processor.


Have a refund policy


Charge backs are often a loss to the credit card processors. The credit card company needs

to know that they won’t be constantly processing refunds for failed orders and delivery of

failed products. You need to have a clear refund outline that is known to all clients in order

to handle such cases properly.


Honesty is the best policy


In case you have any had any pervious merchant accounts, bankruptcies or judgments, it is

advisable to come clean with the merchant service provider to improve your credibility.

This information is often part of public record and quite difficult to hide. If you are upfront

with your application, it will be much easier to open your new merchant account.


Be willing to pay higher fees for special requirements


You may be required to pay higher fees to open your merchant account or to accommodate

special restrictions. It is worth the trouble if you want to provide customers with as many

payment options as possible. You will generate more sales through impulse buys = to cover

the cost of whatever extra fees you pay for the merchant account.


Get a statement evaluation


You may need a statement evaluation for your business to determine what the best credit

card processing option is for your business. There are many merchant service providers

and each of them often has something different to bring to the table. Rather than working

with the wrong merchant processor and paying penalties for terminating the service too

early, you can reduce the amount of time and money wasted and get cheaper credit card

machine rates by getting a statement evaluation and choosing the best service based on

your business evaluation results.

5 Crucial Facts to Demystify the Visa and MasterCard EMV Switch

The nationwide payment’s network shift to the Europay, MasterCard® and Visa® (EMV) is

continuing though the deadline is on October 2015. EMV is the buzzword today and while

most financial experts have an idea on what it entails consumers and merchants whom the

shift is supposed to help seems apathetic to the hype.


Fuzzy Details on the Visa/MC EMV Switch


A study in May 2015 published on US Money showed that over 73% of household owners

have no idea about what this technology shift entails. Nevertheless a large number

appreciate that this is a more secure payment model in the face of increasing cost of card

fraud. A similar number of business owners cited lower credit card processing fee

compared to magnetic stripes as a benefit.


Well, as a conscious consumer or business owner it behooves upon you to understand what

the development is all about.


Here are some facts that will help demystify this new payment system:


1. The EMV Global standard

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard® and Visa® and is a global standard for cards fitted

with a small micro chip instead of the standard magnetic stripe. This technology originated

from Europe and has been in use for almost 10 years. The whole idea is to allow for storage

of sensitive credit card data on a small computer chip within the card.


2. Is There a Timeline?

The fact remains that in the EU and Canada are already on the EMV bandwagon and of

course to create world-wide standardized protocols deadlines have to be set. The timeline

for EMV shift for Visa and MasterCard POS terminals is October 2015 and as a merchant it

is time to talk to the experts by visiting to appreciate the

implications including a new payment terminal.


3. Liability Shift

As a merchant you have to abide by the timelines or else you will be exposing yourself to

penalties resulting from any fraudulent sales form your account. The issue of liability shift

during the changeover is also a big deal because whoever is found to be less EMV

technology compliant between the bank and the merchant will be liable for fraudulent



When you don’t accept EMV cards you will lose credibility in the eyes of your customers

considering they appreciate the need for these secure cards.


4. Why the EMV Switch

Whether you are a merchant or a household owner you will appreciate that card security

has been a major concern. With the FBI recording over 58% increase in such cases over

2013 to 2014 a technology to protect sensitive card information was already overdue.

The new Visa and MasterCard EMV card is harder to counterfeit unlike the magnetic stripe.

With every payment a unique payment code is created and if your card is stolen at a point

of sale the card would just be denied.


5. Other Advantages

Other than security, lower credit card processing fee has been cited as a reason for VISA

and MasterCard shifting to EMV. The initial cost of manufacturing the cards might be high

but as a merchant you will get incentive packages that will relieve your burden.

Well, there is so much to learn about the EMV technology but one thing is for sure, Victor

Hugo was right by saying that you can resist an invasion of armies but not an idea whose

time has come. Get on the bandwagon today.

Visa and MasterCard EMV Switch to Revolutionize Card Payments

“Ready or not here we come…” It was one of the most outstanding records in the 1990s but

today merchants seem to be singing to this Fugees classic. Well, it is not that they have

suddenly discovered some hidden talent in music but only that the October 2015 timeline

for the Europay, MasterCard® and Visa® (EMV) card switch is around the corner.


Whether you are a consumer or a merchant you must have come across this trending topic.

It sounds like a new technology yet the three companies actually developed this global

standard way back in 1994. It is a micro chip technology aimed at making Vis and

MasterCard plastics globally compatible while also enhancing security.


Behind the Hype


To fully appreciate what the EMV switch is all about you have to step back and get more

insight lest you get lost in the words being bandied around. For starters, this technology

shifts from the common magnetic stripes by embedding a microprocessor chip to store

sensitive credit card data.


With countries in the Asia/Pacific region, Canada and EU already adopting this chip

technology the Payment Networks’ have created a roadmap to do away with magnetic

stripes. This is considering that over half of all card fraud occurs in the U.S and more

importantly, the country is the single largest user of credit cards.


Reaping Big from Visa/MC EMV Switch


One of the most frustrating aspects of the magnetic stripe is of course the risk of fraud. For

years banks have borne the blunt of fraudulent transactions as they are forced to

compensate card owners. With the EMV switch everyone becomes a winner because as a

merchant you enjoy a lower credit card processing fee while banks avoid the

unnecessary compensation.


Liability Shift


The fact that there is a liability shift during the changeover makes all the difference. As a

merchant you are expected to provide POS terminal within the deadline provided in the

timeline. In this case this is October 2015. What this means is that if any fraud occurs at

your point of sale the liable party will be the one that is less compliant with EMV



If the bank has not yet provided EMV cards to its customers it will be liable in this case. On

the other hand if you don’t have an EMV compliant POS terminal as a merchant you will

face penalties if any fraud occurs at your store.


By working with during this changeover you will be able to

identify the best rates for credit card processing. Indeed some companies are offering

amazing deals now that there are fewer risks involved in POS terminals as opposed to

when magnetic cards were all the rage.


In terms of the initial set up fees you can jump on the current promotions where some

credit card processing companies are offering free EMV terminals to qualified merchants

again translating to savings during the shift.


There is no denying the limitless benefits of the Visa and MasterCard EMV Switch. It is time

to make the switch and start reaping these benefits.

Virtual Terminals for Credit Card Processing

Businesses that accept credit card payments often use a physical credit card terminal or a

POS machine. Virtual terminals are the web version of these credit card processing

terminals. The Virtual terminals use a software application that is hosted on the service

provider’s server although it can be accessed from any browser that is connected to the

internet. You can use the virtual terminal to put up customer credit information to process

electronic transactions.


Features of virtual terminals


Virtual credit card processing terminals have quite a number of features. With a virtual

terminal, you can:

  • Process swiped credit card transactions from card readers
  • Check the statuses of your transactions
  • Enter mail order or telephone order transactions manually
  • Receive responses for authorization
  • Produce customer and merchant receipt copies
  • Refund customer credit cards for transactions that need reversal
  • Capture and store records of previously authorized transaction
  • Store customer credit card information in a virtual wallet so you do not have toenter the same information again
  • Set up an automatic billing schedule for recurring charges such as subscriptions
  • Save a variety of standard reports for business transactions that you can accesslater.


Advantages of using Virtual credit card-processing terminals


You can use Virtual terminals to reduce merchant service costs because these terminals

offer the following benefits.


Process mid-qualified and non-qualified payments at lower rates


Mid-qualified and non-qualified payments are often the most expensive when it comes to

credit card processing. Using physical credit cards is the cheapest options for processing

credit cards. Virtual terminal transactions are made cheaper because the merchant

account is set to “card not present” and charged at a qualified rate and this can save you

hundreds of dollars every month.


The virtual terminal also allows you to make quick transactions because processed funds

can be deposited in your account as soon as 2-3 days.


Convenient recurring payments


The biggest advantage of online virtual terminals to business owners compared to physical

card terminals is you can conveniently set up recurring payments. You can enter credit

card information and set the recurring date whether weekly or monthly and the virtual

terminal will do the rest. This reduces the hassle of tracking down customers at the end of

every month to get their credit card information in order to make the payments. This

ensures seamless cash flow for your business and equally better business operations.


Store customer data


The virtual terminal has a secure storage database where you can create customer wallets

for future transactions. Physically storing customer credit card information is a violation of

PCI regulations. However, virtual terminals are compliant with PCI rules and it can securely

store customer formation without putting your business at risk. The customer information

is stored in the cloud and you can access it at any time when the customer needs to make a

transaction. The data is stored in an encrypted and protected format for maximum security.

Loosing customer credit card information to the wrong hands can destroy your business

reputation and lead to huge losses.

The Invaluable Role of Point of Sale System in a Successful Business

A study published on Business Insider in 2013 shows that over 76% of sampled business

owners consider processing of payment as the most taxing part of their operations. The

study also noted that 42% of these entrepreneurs had problems with their payment

processing systems with some still clinging to the outdated cash register.


Leveraging Point of Sale


This being the 21st century and more importantly the computer age it is time to start

leveraging an effective point of sale (POS) system to get the best out of your operations. At

the most basic level this is a combination of hardware and software used in processing

payment transactions at your business.


With evolving technology a POS terminal does not just help in payment but offers a

versatile range of services including:


1. Inventory management including stock replenishment, purchasing reports and

much more.

2. Creating sales reports

3. Creating and maintaining customer databases

4. Employee timesheets

5. Sales promotions

6. Custom barcodes


In essence, POS systems help you sync your business operations from inventory to sales

and customer data. This in turn leads to enhanced efficiency and ultimately fewer mistakes

leading to higher productivity. More importantly, you are able to enhance a customer’s

shopping experience which builds loyalty.


An efficient point of sale (POS) system also helps reduce wastage. For instance, the National

Retail Federation (NRF) reports that U.S retailers lose over $224 billion due to excessive

inventory and over $45 billion due to insufficient inventory.


Getting the Best Payment Processing Rates


While POS systems have indeed revolutionized payment transactions the U.S Small

Business Administration (SBA) says over 56% of its members struggle with high credit

card payment processing. If you want cheaper credit card machine rates you need to

undertake in-depth research but more importantly link up with a financial advisor to help

you identify the best.


At you will get invaluable advice on the best card processing

company to work with. Having worked with thousands of businesses in the country

PYMNT offers an easy portal for you to get the lowest rates for card processing.


This in turn increases your savings which is what every entrepreneur is aiming at in the

first place. Through a simple process where you submit your statement and identify your

business type these credit card experts are able to connect you instantly with a compatible

yet affordable card payment processing company.


Choosing the Ideal POS System


There are thousands of POS systems out there but to get the best you need to consider:


1. Ease of use: Pick one that your staff can easily adapt to.

2. Functionality: Inventory is the keyword here because without this feature then

there is no need of the POS system. Look for a system that can send alerts on

inventory levels among other critical functions.

3. Scalability: The best systems start small and grow with your business.

4. Customer care: The vendor must be available to offer technical support whenever

need arises.


Other factors to consider include minimum hardware requirements, coupons, sales

promotions, user friendly and intuitive dash board and affordability.


Now that you appreciate the need for a functional POS system it is time to connect with the

experts and enjoy cheaper credit card machine rates. At PYMNT we work with all these

systems and whichever you buy we will no doubt get the best processing rates. Your

bottom-line will dazzle you a few months down the line.

PCI Compliance: A Win-Win Situation for Every Party

Credit card theft and data breaches have dominated financial headlines over the last one

decade. With a report published by NASDAQ showing the U.S as the largest user of credit

cards this issue has necessitated multi-prong approaches to them.


Grave Card Fraud Statistics


A report on Forbes says over 10% of Americans have been victims of card fraud with over $

399 million being lost to such fraud annually. It gets even worse, Barclay’s states that the

U.S is responsible for over 47% of global card fraud with over 31.8 million consumers

suffering such breaches in 2014 alone. The cost of replacement to the issuer per card is

about $12.75.


Time for Action through PCI Compliance


Against this backdrop there have been intense efforts to enhance security of sensitive

credit card data. One of the most conspicuous efforts has been PCI Security Standards

Council (PCI SSC) strategy in establishing PCI Data Security Standard Compliance.

This is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies involved in processing,

storing and transmitting card data maintain a secure environment. These parties include

you as the business, merchant service providers, financial institutions and card issuers.

Through PCI compliance all these parties reduce the likelihood of fraud during

transactions. When your account is PCI complaint then you are less worried about fraud at

your POS terminals. The downside of experiencing fraudulent transactions when your

business is not PCI compliant includes heavy fines, loss of credibility and loss of valuable

business links.


As a business owner you need to appreciate that the duty of enforcing compliance falls on

payment brands and acquirers. This means you have to ask for PCI compliance from these

partners to ensure you are never caught off guard. The process of compliance is continuous

though the main aspects entail:


1. Assessment: You must take an inventory of your IT assets and business processes

for payment card processing. You should check for any vulnerability that might lead

to breach of customer data.


2. Remediate: As you spot weaknesses in your system start fixing them and if possible

don’t store customer data at this stage if you don’t need it.


3. Report compliance: You need to report these remediation efforts and compliance

reports to your acquiring bank and payment brands that you partner with.


Working with Experts


As an entrepreneur your core business is running day to day operations and it is best to

leave PCI compliance to an expert. PYMNT Advisors for instance not only offer advice on

getting cheap credit card processing rates and can also link you up with the best PCI

compliance solution providers.


With years of experience in the industry will help identify a

company that not only offers the best processing fees for your business but one that also

helps you in becoming PCI compliant. Such credit card processing companies have in-

house risk teams to assess your operations and identify vulnerabilities.


Once your business has complied with PCI guidelines you enjoy peace of mind, reduced

risks, lower costs of processing payments, increased customer loyalty and of course an

impressive bottom-line.

E Commerce Processing: How to Take Credit Cards Online

When you open an online business, you need to find a convenient way to accept payments

from clients. Today many people use their credit cards to pay their utility bills, to shop, pay

medical bills and buy food. Credit cards are a staple in managing personal finances today

and this is why you need to accept credit card payments on your websites. Relying on

online payment methods only such as PayPal will limit many of your clients and this leads

to a loss in sales.


The following are the two main reasons why you should have credit card payments:

Impulse buyers: Many of the guests on your site will end up there through links from other

websites. You do not want to waste all your marketing efforts on attracting clients yet there

is no convenient way to purchase the products on your site. But once they see the “all cards

accepted here” sign, you may get impulse buyers making purchases by the hour.


International customers: accepting credit card payments online is the easiest way to get

international customers to buy your products and services. Globally accepted cards such as

visa and MasterCard make it extremely convenient for people in other parts of the world to

pay you.


Ways of accepting credit card payments

There are two ways you can accept credit card payments.


  • You can open your own merchant account with a bank in order to receive payments

from credit card transactions. The cost of setting up a merchant account with the

bank depends on which country you live.


  •  Setting up merchant accounts can be quite costly. If you are just starting up your

business, chances are you don’t have enough capital to set up this account. You can

choose to accept payments through a third party merchant account. The merchant

processor will accept payments from the credit card company and send the funds to

your minus the transaction fees. They are known as payment gateways and often

have cheaper credit card machine rates.


The Virtual payment terminal


The virtual payment terminal is where all the customer’s credit card information is

collected and processed for payments. The virtual terminal is quite similar to the physical

credit card processing machines that you use to swipe cards in your business. The virtual

terminal is a software application provided by the merchant processor. There are two ways

to use the payment terminal


  •  Customer form: You can create a form for customers to fill, entering their credit card

information to make purchases online. Once they add their shopping items to cart,

the can proceed to payments where they will log their card details in a form and

accept the payment.


  •  Merchant form: In case you receive orders through mail or telephone, you can

manually enter the customer’s information on the virtual form.


Using a virtual terminal is more than just accepting payments, you can also create a log of

customer details and virtual wallets for future payments and you can also generate billing

reports from the virtual terminal for your business records.