For a charity, there are few decisions that weigh as heavily as selecting the right payment gateway. For many non-profits, monetary donations are integral to funding charitable activities. Getting the donation process wrong is simply not an option.
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is an e-commerce service provider that enables charities to process credit and debit card transactions.
Many charities choose to use payment gateways to process transactions over a fundraising platform like JustGiving for a number of reasons – for instance, having the ability to directly integrate so the payment process remains entirely on their own website or lower fees when handling a large number of transactions.
Making Your Choice
Choosing a payment gateway that is right for you comes down to what you require as a charity. Before you proceed with a provider, stop to ask the following:
- What do you need from your payment gateway? Do you only need the functionality to take single donation payments? Do you require the ability to take recurring payments or set up a direct debit? Consider the level of flexibility you are going to require moving forwards as well as how your chosen provider will work with your other business tools – such as your CRM.
- Is it straightforward and simple to use? If your payment gateway isn’t easy to use, then this could have serious implications for management staff-side.
- Do you have control over the user experience? Will your payment gateway enable transactions onsite? How much creative control do you have over the design of the payment process? You’d be surprised at just how much a bad user experience can impact donations.
- What are the fees? Is it crystal clear exactly how much your payment gateway is going to cost? Expect to pay a number of fees for your payment gateway, including set up, monthly and transactional. Make sure you’re aware of all costs involved – your payment partner may appear to be cheap up front, but a little digging will reveal if it’s really such a “good deal”.
- Is your payment gateway legally compliant and secure? Most payment gateways are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). However, it’s your responsibility to check if your provider is up to the task – if you don’t, you could end up with a very unpleasant bill. Further to this, you should also consider how your provider could affect your GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) processes. It pays to do your due diligence.
Choosing the right payment gateway for your charity comes down to what best suits their organisation’s needs. It’s not a decision to take lightly, so be sure to thoroughly investigate your potential partners before “signing on the dotted line.”
So, what payment gateway is the best fit for your charity? Let’s take a look at a few of the industry leading providers.
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