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.
- 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 present.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.