Your payment gateway. Cost per transaction? Sure, it is important.
Onshore support? Yes, it is crucial.
The ability to collect payment via all credit card types? Yes, that is important, too.
But, card portability is THE most important consideration when selecting a payment gateway.
Role of the Payment Gateway
The role of the payment gateway is to serve as a bridge between the donor’s credit card and your organisation’s merchant account. It’s that simple. The payment gateway transfers the funds between the donor and your non-profit organisation.
Frequently, non-profit organisations have a payment gateway recommended or chosen for them on behalf of a CRM supplier without the organisation properly investigating the gateway product. Too often non-profit organisations select a payment gateway without asking, first, whether the payment gateway will surrender the de-encrypted credit cards to the charitable organisation should the non-profit organisation decide to transition to a new gateway in the future.
Most importantly, the data you submit to the payment gateway provider is your organisation’s data. Surrendering recurring gift payment details back to your organisation in no way violates PCI compliance providing the supplier returns this data in a secure manner. Some suppliers return the data securely and direct to your non-profit organisation. Whereas, others will transfer the data only to another payment gateway. Whichever methodology is chosen, ensure you have the capacity to get the data back should the need arise.
Remember, if the gateway provider offers a negative response to this request, shop for another gateway provider. If the gateway prover offers a positive response to this request, ensure you get this in writing as part of your contractual agreement. Most importantly, you may not be around when the need arises to port your credit cards to a new supplier. Therefore, place that agreement in a safe place for staff in the future.
Do not choose a payment gateway which will not surrender your credit cards for recurring payments in the future.
Imagine having to contact 20,000 – 30,000 recurring donors and ask them for their credit card details again. First, the task alone will take 3-4 contacts per donor. Second, the risk is too high your organisation will lose 50%-70% of the donors. Ensure safety and portability of those cards in the future by choosing right at the outset.
Need to know which of the gateways allow portability? Contact FundraisingForce today.