What to consider when choosing your nonprofit payment processor

When selecting a payment processor for your nonprofit organization, you may be tempted to opt for the first one that comes to mind or the one that seems the cheapest. But your nonprofit has different needs than for-profit companies; while popular payment processors may work for a corporation, they may not work for your organization.

Selecting the wrong payment processor might mean you’re missing out on features that will help with productivity, donor relations, and brand presence.

So, what are the things you should be aware of when you’re looking for a payment processor? Let’s take a look. 

Watch out for hidden charges and fees

In payment processing, sometimes even simple pricing structures translate to higher rates overall. Many processors have a deceptively low base rate but levy additional charges and fees which add up to a higher-than-expected total rate.

Some common charges on top of the base rate include:

  • Interchange fees
  • Surcharges
  • Early termination
  • Contract closure fees

These charges, particularly the interchange fee charged by card associations, can be complex. You may not notice the extra costs right away, leading to unnecessarily lost revenue.

Many payment processors also have a monthly minimum amount for payments processed. If your organization only processes small sums each month, or has months in which no payments are processed, you may be dinged.

Look for dedicated customer service

Many large payment processors don’t prioritize clients beyond what it means to the bottom line. This means customer relationships are far more transactional than personal.

Customer service reps may be discouraged from spending more time on clients than necessary, leading to rushed service. In some cases, customer service is outsourced, so there is a lower likelihood of individualized service.

In addition, indifferent customer service puts the burden of resolving issues on the customer. If you run into problems, you might be on your own even though you’re losing out on donations.

Your payment processor should offer industry-specific advice. Customer service reps at some larger payment processors often must stick to a script, rather than advising clients on the best options. Sometimes, this can lead to upselling and presenting more expensive options as optimal ones.

Evaluate customization options

Building trust and recognition with your donors is essential for long-term fundraising success. Branded forms enhance credibility and encourage donors to contribute with confidence.

Look for a payment provider that enables you to customize your form to reflect your organization’s unique identity. You want to be able to incorporate your logo, colors, and messaging for a seamless user experience. 

Check for data portability

If you decide to stop using your payment processor, you need to be able to move your donors’ information to your new processor – without being charged (remember the point above about hidden fees? This is one of them).

Some larger aggregators do not allow for such data portability, so it’s essential to ensure that you own your data and can move it with your organization. Your donor’s data is one of your nonprofit’s most vital components and you don’t want to have to surrender it if you change payment processors.

Ready to choose a payment processor?

iATS Payments by Deluxe is built exclusively to address the unique needs of nonprofits. iATS serves over 16,000 nonprofits and has over 22 years of experience helping organizations meet their goals. They offer fair and transparent pricing, as well as one central number to call for support.

Ready to find out more? Contact iATS Payments today and a dedicated service representative will help you decide if iATS is the right payment processor for your organization.