monthly fees for non-profit merchant account

Today’s inquiry is where can I get a merchant account with no monthly fees? The question is for a new non-profit 501c3 with less than $25,000 annual projected in credit card processing. The group needs a both a virtual terminal and online donation capability.

Answer: I don’t know any suppliers with zero monthly fees that would meet the requirements for the specifications above. My recommendation is to get a paypal Website Payments Pro account for $30 per month. The non-profit rates for the volume are as good as it gets. You’re going to pay fees whether it’s higher monthly and low rate or low monthly and high rates. I think Paypal offers some benefits for newbies with their instant online donor form, and the contract is month to month.

Step by step on paypal:

>Payment Solutions

>Accept Credit cards non-profit

>Sign up for a PayPal Business account If you don’t need a virtual terminal, you’ll select business/standard account/type of business, non-profit.

Discounted fees for nonprofits with 501 (c)(3) status

More than $100,000 in monthly volume: 1.9% + $.30 per transaction

Less than $100,000 in monthly volume: 2.2% + $.30 per transaction

There is no monthly fee. All other nonprofits are charged regular transaction rates. Discounted rates do not apply to transactions made using Website Payments Pro or Virtual Terminal.

If you need a virtual terminal, you’ll select Business>website payments pro. The non-profits rate do not apply! Pricing as of 12/15/2010:

  • $30 monthly fee
  • 2.2% – 2.9% + $0.30 USD per transaction* (Visa, MasterCard, Discover)
  • 3.5% and no fixed fee per transaction (American Express)

Note- fees are likely to go up again in April 2010, as a result of the bi-annual interchange update.

For a new non-profit you need to estimate how many transactions you’ll have a month, and a dollar volume. Assume 50% of your transactions will be a the lowest quoted CARD NOT PRESENT rate. Assume 50% will be at the highest quoted ECOMMERCE rate. This is a general guideline to help you compare different options you may be considering.

The above information does not apply to larger volume non-profits. Click this link for related article:

industry insider reviews merchants fees for non-profits