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Best Merchant Services for Nonprofits

Overall Rating:
User Reviews:

Offering two transparent pricing plans: Basic & Pro, with cheap interchange plus rates, great customer service, and complete non-profit solutions. Accepts new non-profits.

Rates
0.20% - 1.95%
Features
  • No Haggle Pricing
  • Cheap Rates
  • Top Customer Service

Overall Rating:
User Reviews:

Full-service processor with a discounted package for nonprofits with cheap interchange+ pricing and a free donate button. Non-profits also get a gateway, developer API, mobile pay options, and top customer service.

Rates
0.23% - 2.58%
Features
  • Non-Profit Discounts
  • Quick Start Package
  • Month-To-Month

Overall Rating:
User Reviews:

Award-Winning customer service, free equipment, mobile processing, and discounted non-profit pricing make them ideal for non-profits and charities who do, or will process, above $5,000 per month.

Rates
0.15% - 3.45%
Features
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • BBB A+ Rating
  • Free Equipment

Overall Rating:
User Reviews:

BluePay is a full-service processor that has excellent eCommerce and mobile payment capabilities. Good choice for non-profits with an eCommerce / online focus, or who want to accept donations via mobile devices.

Rates
0.95% - 2.60%
Features
  • Next Day Funding
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Online & Mobile Focused

Overall Rating:
User Reviews:

For very small non-profits with under $2,000 per month in donations, PayAnywhere is a good option. They offer a free mobile swiper, no setup fees and live customer support via phone.

Rates
1.69% - 2.69%
Features
  • Next Day Funding
  • No Setup Fees
  • Live Customer Support


For More Information About Non-Profit Processor Options or To Sign Up



One of the best ways to grow a non-profit organization is the ability to accept credit cards for membership payments and for donations. Although VISA and MasterCard provide discounts for non-profit organizations, not all merchant account services honor this donation unless the organization asks…and, when setting up a merchant account with a credit card processing company, that’s the important issue – to let that company know that you are a non-profit. Most often, what you’ll need is verification of your 501(c) or 501(c)(3) status.

We highlight some companies that honor non-profit rates as well as some that offer unique features for non-profits in our list of the best credit card processors for nonprofit organizations.

Best for Nonprofits Over $5,000 Per Month: TransFirst

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  • Eligibility: TransFirst offers merchant accounts specifically for all 501 or 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. They’re a good fit for any organization that accepts over $5,000 per month in debit and credit card volume.

  • Price: TransFirst is very transparent with their pricing for businesses and services, they offer discounted interchange plus rates with lower monthly fees for non-profits. Additionally, they pass on the discounts that Visa, Mastercard, and Amex offer to nonprofits.

  • Summary: TransFirst offers all the bells and whistles to non-profit organizations that they offer their other customers, including a recurring billing feature, ACH payments and check processing, full PCI compliance, and gateway support for online donations. They also provide storage functionality for management of repeat donor data, and 24/7 support.

  • What’s the Catch?: Organizations that process less than $5,000 per month might not benefit from TransFrist’s rates and fees, even if discounted. But, if you plan on growth and credit card processing could help that growth, this company might be a perfect fit. TransFirst is a full-service credit card processing company, which means there is an application and setup process but the learning curve is minimal. That said, if you only plan to take a few donations a month, a simpler, albeit more expensive, option like PayPal might be better.

Best for Nonprofits Under $5,000 per month: PayPal

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  • Eligibility: PayPal offers discounted transaction rates for 501(c)(3) for most products, and reasonably low rates for all other nonprofits. An ideal solution for very small charities doing under $5,000 per month.

  • Price: No extra fees for setup, statements, withdrawals or cancellation, and no monthly fees. The simple flat rate for non-profit organization is 2.2% + $.30 per transaction.

  • Summary: PayPal doesn’t offer the best rates in the world, but they’re easy to set up and use. Put a “donation” button on your website, key in transactions over the phone, take payments by mail, or use it person-to-person. Your donors don’t need a PayPal account to participate.

  • What’s the Catch?: There are a million good reasons for non-profits to use PayPal for donations, and only a couple of downfalls – their support service is spotty and frustrating, and there are cheaper options for charities doing significant volume.

Best for Nonprofits Wanting Simple Billing: Payline Data

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  • Eligibility: Payline Data offers a program for businesses that donates 10% to a non-profit organization of choice. At the other end, non-profits that use Payline as their merchant account provider through Payline Giving (Payline Giving [http://paylinedata.com/giving/]) can designate their organization as the non-profit that receives that donation, effectively resulting in a 10% discount per transaction.

  • Price: Payline offers an Interchange Plus pricing model designed to flex with sales volume. The Simple Plan (under $5k per month sales) is Interchange + .50% + $.10 per transaction. The Pro Plan (over $5k per month sales) is Interchange + .20% + $.10 per transaction. Both plans carry monthly fees that cover a lot of fine print costs found with most merchant account services.

  • Summary: Payline is one of a few merchant services that offers donations at no cost to the merchant. Non-profits can benefit greatly by using Payline as a merchant account for their organization as well as by referring merchants to Payline. Non-profit organizations that are affiliated with Payline are referred to as “non-profit partners,” acting as a marketing tool for that account service to the benefit of the non-profit.

  • What’s the Catch?: Non-profit organizations that don’t understand Interchange Plus pricing or the processes involved with merchant accounts may overlook some items when signing up for an account. While Payline is transparent about costs, they’re a little muddy when it comes to the credit card process and how it works with their equipment. With that said, they offer an extensive knowledge base for any reader online.

Best for Canadian NonProfits: Helcim

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  • Eligibility: This Canadian-based company serves both Canada and the U.S., and offers non-profit discounts within their Interchange Plus pricing plans. Only, they call non-profits “Charities.” (https://www.helcim.com/us/pricing/interchange-plus/)

  • Price: Helcim offers an “average” cost per transaction for non-profit organizations. That rate is Interchange + 1.94% + $.15 per transaction, which is a nice discount from their rates for other businesses. This rate is based on, among other things, an average volume of $7,500 per month in credit and debit card payments.

  • Summary: Although Helcim is based in Canada, they also maintain an office in Seattle, Washington. Their customer service, their rates, and their transparency all get rave reviews online with no legitimate complaints.

  • What’s the Catch?: Helcim is great for mid-sized and large businesses and organizations, but the small organization that brings in less than $2,500 per month may not benefit greatly from these rates.

Non-profits can benefit tremendously by being able to accept donations and payments via debit and credit cards. Just like any other business, however, organizations need to read the fine print and know what they’re doing when it comes to processing credit cards. Particularly, they need to make sure to select a provider that passes along all discounts that Visa, Mastercard, and Amex charge with no markup, and that have experience handling donations as the chargeback issues can be unique.

If you have any additional questions about selecting a merchant account services provider for your nonprofit, call us or use the MerchantNegotiators.com Match Tool to search 40+ providers. That tool can provide you with a more complete picture of the best fit for your nonprofit organization.

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