Best fundraising payment solution for political campaigns

Accept payments via mobile, internet, and at fundraising events all with a single gateway solution that provides optimum security and cost containment. Fundraising solutions for any candidate must include a variety of payment methods, cost controls, reporting tools, and be simple to implement. This article explores how our solution achieves this.

Just like a business, accepting funds via credit card can be expensive when running for Congress, Senate, President or other offices. However, thanks to debit legislation under the Durbin Amendment that went into effect October 2011,  it’s not nearly as much as it used to be. With a wholesale cost of .05% and $.21 per transaction for non-exempt debit cards, the overall cost of credit card processing has been greatly reduced. With a wholesale merchant account, you’ll pay interchange fees at all levels plus a small merchant discount.

Understanding merchant accounts.

  1. You can apply for an ecommerce merchant account, MOTO (mail order/phone order), or Retail (card present /swipe). It’s against card association rules to process ecommerce transactions on a MOTO or Retail merchant account. But if you have an ecommerce merchant account, you’ll pay higher card not present rates on swiped transactions. The solution? Our CenPOS gateway  automatically identifies the transaction method and sends the appropriate data so that the transaction will qualify for retail. The CenPOS patent pending switching technology is not available from other vendors and saves big money. For example, save .3% on Visa Rewards cards- the difference between retail and card not interchange chart october 2011
  2.  Fees are made up of fixed non-negotiable interchange fees, network fees, card association fees, fees that vary by vendor (some hard costs vendors incur may vary), and negotiable merchant discount fees. Altogether when you divide your total fees by the net transactions we call this your effective rate. With a wholesale merchant account, an estimated effective rate for political fundraising campaigns is 2.2%, or 3.5% for very small campaigns. If you’re not paying any where near that, contact us for alternatives.
  3. Different payment acceptance points can result in disparate reporting, which is never a problem until you’re trying to research something and then it becomes a nightmare.
  4. A gateway is required to accept payments online. You need both a merchant account and a gateway. CenPOS is a universal gateway, compatible with all major processors.

Campaign Fundraising Concerns and how we solve them with the CenPOS gateway:

  • Need to accept payments via many methods:  At the core of CenPOS is a Virtual Terminal for card swipe, online payments, mobile payments and any other method. CenPOS automatically switches payment routing for least cost.
  • Need to accept multiple payment types: Check and credit/debit cards are currently accepted, and more options will be available in 2012.
  • Large volunteer base may assist in payment collection. This creates potential liability for data security, but also a need for simple solution. Have you ever handed out donation cards at a fundraising event that requests credit card information to be written down? Identity theft is a major threat. Instead, use smart phones with the free CenPOS app and get cards swiped at the table or door, or add a card reader to any laptop. Micro manage user permissions and shut them down on demand. CenPOS prompts both the user and the donor for the appropriate actions. “Dummy proof” your payment collection to reduce costs and improve record keeping.
  • Donor Management: An API (application interface) is available to exchange data with your donor management software. CenPOS supports recurring billing and can send the appropriate secure token to your software as well. CenPOS stores 7 years of data storage vs the typical 18 months of merchant services providers and gateways.
  • Finance scrutiny and Fraud protection: CenPOS mitigates risk of fraudulent cards and also offers advanced protection to block certain payment types including anonymous and foreign issued cards. You’re in control of how tight you want to control donations.

donor payment cenpos payment engine merchant update on mastercard partial auth

Email received from updates MasterCard partial authorization requirement. “In late March, we sent an e-mail regarding MasterCard and Discover’s modifications to the rules concerning the processing of debit, pre-paid and gift cards for merchants located in the United States.

Recently MasterCard and Discover relaxed the requirements for e-commerce merchants so that support for partial authorizations and balance responses are no longer required, but recommended best practices. All retail and mobile merchants, however, must still support the requirements.

Additionally, all merchants are still required to support authorization reversals for any non-settled authorizations. The deadline for all Authorize.Net merchants to support the requirements is still June 30, 2011.

IMPORTANT: Although no longer a requirement for e-commerce merchants, Authorize.Net intends to support partial authorizations and balance responses for all merchants. We highly recommend that your merchants provide support for these features as they can help decrease declined transactions and potentially increase sales.

You can review the timeline of when we expect support for each processor in our Partial Authorization FAQs at <>

We have also updated our FAQs to reflect the latest changes. If your merchants have questions, please refer them to the FAQs at for additional information, including integration updates, value-adding services and more.”

PULSE Introduces PIN Debit for E-commerce Transactions

Secure Internet PIN Debit Transactions Deliver Issuers Reduced Fraud and Chargebacks

HOUSTON, July 14, 2010 — PULSE, one of the nation’s leading debit/ATM networks, is bringing the security, reliability and convenience of PIN debit to online shopping with the introduction of PULSE® Internet PIN debit.

Financial institutions using PULSE Internet PIN Debit can deliver convenient PIN-based, online transaction verification to a growing number of consumers who purchase products from e-commerce merchants. The new payment solution, which uses Acculynk’s PaySecure® Internet PIN debit software, reinforces the issuer and cardholder relationship by using a financial institution-branded graphical PIN pad.

According to a forecast from Javelin Strategy & Research, online retail transaction volume is expected to reach $268 billion by 2013. However, as many as 15 percent of debit cardholders have PIN-only debit cards, which previously could not be used for Internet purchases.

A separate Javelin study conducted last year found that 79 percent of consumers surveyed would feel more comfortable using debit cards online with a PIN than without it. PULSE network issuers can now address this need with Internet PIN debit transactions, giving cardholders the option to use their PIN debit cards for e-commerce in an easy and safe manner.

PULSE confirmed cardholders’ acceptance of the technology in a 2009 pilot, which used PaySecure. In the pilot, 54 percent of debit cardholders paying for online purchases preferred to enter a PIN when presented with the choice of PIN or signature options to complete the transactions. Additionally, chargebacks were reduced 77 percent compared to signature debit transactions, and there were no instances of fraudulent transactions.

“Our successful pilot confirms that debit cardholders are comfortable entering a PIN when shopping online,” said Judith McGuire, PULSE senior vice president of product management. “With PULSE Internet PIN debit, financial institutions can offer cardholders a secure, trusted and preferred payment option for online purchases. The product gives consumers with PIN-only debit cards a new payment choice, and should appeal to cardholders who already prefer to enter their PIN at brick-and-mortar retailers.”

How PULSE Internet PIN Debit Works
When consumers check out in the usual manner from a merchant website using cards that participate in PULSE Internet PIN Debit, they are given the option of completing the transaction with a PIN. Consumers who select this option are prompted to enter their PIN to complete the transaction, using a graphical, scrambling PIN pad that can be customized with the card issuer’s logo and debit card design. The cardholder clicks the mouse on a number and the PIN pad re-scrambles as each subsequent digit is selected. The PIN is not captured on the computer, nor is it transmitted over the Internet.

The solution makes a general phishing attack difficult because several unique attributes are displayed during the transaction, including merchant branding, financial institution identifiers and the VeriSign Secured® Seal. In addition, Acculynk’s Internet PIN debit software service is integrated directly into the online checkout process, eliminating the need for cardholders to enroll or be redirected to another site to complete purchases.

A demonstration of PULSE Internet PIN Debit and more product information is available at

PULSE, a Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) company, is a leading ATM/debit network, serving more than 4,400 banks, credit unions and savings institutions across the United States. The network links cardholders with ATMs and POS terminals at locations nationwide. Through its global ATM network, PULSE provides worldwide cash access for Diners Club and Discover cardholders through hundreds of thousands of ATM locations. The company is also a source of electronic payments research and is committed to providing its participants with education on emerging products, services and trends in the payments industry. For more information, visit