Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Some of the more technically advanced members of our committee want to accept credit cards for monthly campout fees, summer camp, high adventure activities, etc.  Technically I'm not in their league. I do  have a cell phone, but don't facebook, tweet, or text.  

 

Does anyone's unit out there accept charge cards for their fees?  Good?  Bad?  Horror stories?  Thanks in advance for your opinion and experiences.

 

Dale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the more technically advanced members of our committee want to accept credit cards for monthly campout fees, summer camp, high adventure activities, etc.  Technically I'm not in their league. I do  have a cell phone, but don't facebook, tweet, or text.  

 

Does anyone's unit out there accept charge cards for their fees?  Good?  Bad?  Horror stories?  Thanks in advance for your opinion and experiences.

 

Dale

 

We do and use it through our website. You end up paying a % on large payments unless the bank account is linked through PayPal. The point of sale apps take a % so you have to charge your members more to cover the fee.

 

We settled on taking payments online for anything over $40 and baking the fee in to the cost of the event. This way the unit does not incur any cost and the fee the end user pays is minimal.

 

We take checks for large payments because doing so online usually means a 5% fee added to the cost. No one wants to pay $40 worth of a fee for the convenience of paying online or in person.

 

This is something to do your research on and see if it is really worth the time and cost. We were processing 75+ checks a month, so offering online payment did cut down on the time it took to manage the money. We found batching larger payments and enforcing payment deadlines (e.g., having a "pay day" so to eliminate guess work on when to bring your check) helped to cut down time and processing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, I think this is becomin' more and more common, eh?  Let's face it, the days of paper checks are mostly done and over.

 

Go with a reputable online payment processor.   Some of da Scoutin' specific web hosting services offer this feature, and they're fine.   There are lots of others, though... just look for ones that are more friendly to small-payment NFP entities.     Yeh should be able to get by with only around 3-4% overhead in processing fees.

 

Never, ever, ever take CC numbers yourself.  Never.   It opens yeh up to a world of liability.  Make folks log in themselves and pay online.

 

Beavah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do, the person that operates the device also has an Ipad they use with it.  Very easy and Very convenient .  Just remember there is a fee! This fee can be passed on as a convenience charge to the user.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do, the person that operates the device also has an Ipad they use with it.  Very easy and Very convenient .  Just remember there is a fee! This fee can be passed on as a convenience charge to the user.

 

Careful with those. System like that can be hacked very easily. You have to make sure you have a secure network connection when you run the transaction. The device using the reader also needs to have Bluetooth shut down or else I can see everything. Everything. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our pack uses Square, but only on a limited basis for registrations and for some popcorn sales. For the registrations, we charge a little extra to cover the CC fee. For popcorn we only use it for store-front sales where we would otherwise lose the entire sale if we didn't take the CC. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careful with those. System like that can be hacked very easily. You have to make sure you have a secure network connection when you run the transaction. The device using the reader also needs to have Bluetooth shut down or else I can see everything. Everything. ;)

 

 

lol Cisco Cert tech here (CCNA AND CCNP) gotcha covered

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol Cisco Cert tech here (CCNA AND CCNP) gotcha covered

 

Me too, but most folks aren't. ;)

 

I still laugh at Sbux how open people leave their laptops, phones, tablets, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....

 

Never, ever, ever take CC numbers yourself.  Never.   It opens yeh up to a world of liability.  Make folks log in themselves and pay online.

 

Beavah

 

Our troop was set-up with paypal through the web site.

We have been in a state of transition for a while now, so its turned off currently....trying to work with our CO to get new bank account set-up, etc.... way more headache that this needs to be.... but that's another issue.

 

Before my time, but I am told that they got extremely low participation with it.  Mostly it's adults handing adults checks.

They just haven;'t had luck getting folks to log into the site to do things like payments, event sign ups, etc...

 

My plan is to really push back on this as I come up to speed as treasurer....

except for the big dollar payments where fees get silly, as previously mentioned, there really is no need in my taking up that extra paperwork.  Scouts can either go online themselves &/or get their parents to post payments for things there...... at the same time they are signing up and verifying for events and so on.... it's all automatic then..... and from the convenience of their living rooms in their underwear.... or whatever floats their boats.

 

I was also handed a paypal dongle (like square) for use with smartphone.  Haven't tried to use it yet since I need to set up a new paypal account....

But just under 'principle", I'm with Beavah on this one.... I'm not so keen about using it, even if it is signed up and going straight into the troop's account.

 

I was thinking about making up a temporary patch though, to hang from my pocket button.... MC, Visa, AMEX, and Discover taken here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife was in finance for 25 years. She broke it down for me like this:

  • Payment is a process, whether electronic or paper.
    • There is a fee for electronic transactions, sometimes on both ends (sender and receiver). Check your bank and processor.
    • There are hidden costs (e.g., one's time, gas) to process paper transactions.
  • The key to reducing the cost of paper transactions is not to reduce the amount of paper (e.g., checks), it is to reduce the trips to the bank.
    • You can deposit 20+ checks per transaction now. They are itemized and do not require a deposit slip. They do require review to make sure that they were processed correctly.
    • Reporting and money management has online tools which make all this easier.
  • Online transactions may reduce the number of trips to the bank, BUT ONLY if you don't limit your trips to begin with.
  • The key is to figure out how much the electronic transactions cost you versus how much the paper transactions cost you (including time spent). Once you know this you will know if it makes sense to accept electronic payments.
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for a small non profit.  Our credit card processor takes bank account information also.  The donations from checking or savings have MINIMAL banking fees (25 cents per transaction).  Whereas cc is 2.75 - 3.25 % depending.

They provide a secure (they host) processing page where supporters can enter their own (or we do it for them) information.  Our website links to that site.  Once those payment types are setup for a supporter, they are available in the future for additional charges.  The main thing about that webpage is that we can setup the codes for the different funds and events and get terrific reports.  Deposits are made quickly and directly into our checking account, which minimizes administration greatly.  I imagine that there are many processing companies out there that provide the same services so it will be worth your while to investigate what is available.

 

I agree with the issue on security, compliance requirements are increasing for even the small organizations.  Here we only process from directly connected computers (no wifi), and have secure processes for any paper authorizations. 

 

OTOH, the troop uses checks and cash, and squares for popcorn.  I hope the volunteer treasurer treats my checks with care.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

makes sense Krampus

but from the perspective of most folks

the cost to do the transaction over the web site using paypal is a known and "in your face" number

meanwhile

the cost for sending in a written check is zero.... so why would they pay for paypal?

 

nobody would consider my time and effort

even though my "trips to the bank" will be approaching zero, i might drop by for larger multi check deposits

but for one off checks I will just deposit using ebanking and my cell phone's camera....

but nobody will consider that it takes my time to do this, then i have to go onto the troop web site and credit the money to the appropriate events

then at some point I'll probably have to generate confirmations, answer questions as in when they forget if its paid or not, etc...

but if they do it themselves, they check the box for the even when they make the paypal deposit, then everything is done except for my verifying (in theory at least).... but none of that would be considered by most folks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for a small non profit.  Our credit card processor takes bank account information also.  The donations from checking or savings have MINIMAL banking fees (25 cents per transaction).  Whereas cc is 2.75 - 3.25 % depending.

They provide a secure (they host) processing page where supporters can enter their own (or we do it for them) information.  Our website links to that site.  Once those payment types are setup for a supporter, they are available in the future for additional charges.  The main thing about that webpage is that we can setup the codes for the different funds and events and get terrific reports.  Deposits are made quickly and directly into our checking account, which minimizes administration greatly.  I imagine that there are many processing companies out there that provide the same services so it will be worth your while to investigate what is available.

 

Does the retailer offer protection of the transaction? In other words, if someone hacks by bank directly (checking or savings) I am covered under their federal insurance. If a third party processor, to which I have my accounts linked, gets hacked and my money transferred I am not covered by federal banking insurance.

 

Does the third party processor guarantee their security and that of your funds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

makes sense Krampus

but from the perspective of most folks

the cost to do the transaction over the web site using paypal is a known and "in your face" number

meanwhile

the cost for sending in a written check is zero.... so why would they pay for paypal?

 

 

Agreed. Other people are NOT going to consider your time and effort. But you do, so you say "I'm collecting today, no other day. Miss today you have to drop it by my house. I am going to the bank only on Saturday. Miss that and you cannot go." 

 

Your time spent = one meeting, one trip to the bank. ;)

 

If people are not going to value your time, maybe they will value their own time...especially when having to drive out of their way because they missed your office hours at the meeting. ;)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×