When to use it
To accept funds through donation pages you need to select and setup a Merchant Gateway in your Salsa account. There are a few things you should know about how they work. In order to accept credit card donations online, you need to have the following two types of accounts:
- A gateway processor account (for processing the credit cards)
- A merchant account (transfers and deposits the donations into your bank account)
If these terms don't sound familiar to you, we recommend this article provided by the TechSoup website which explains gateway/merchant accounts and how they work together!
How to get there
Selecting a Gateway Processor is a business decision that takes place outside of your Salsa account. Once you've selected the Gateway Processor that's right for you, set up and test your merchant account.
Selecting a Gateway Account
A gateway or gateway processor account works to validate that the credit card is valid, make sure the name, address, and CVV code (three digit code on back) all match, and protect against fraud. If the card is rejected a message will be sent to your Salsa account. If not, the card is processed and the money is placed in your merchant account.
Salsa works with the following gateway processors:
- Democracy Engine
- PayPal Payments Pro
- Payflow Pro (owned by PayPal - it used to be a Verisign product)
- YourPay/First Data API (formerly LinkPoint - not the YourPay Connect product)
Below is a chart that compares features and fees for each of the gateways. This information is provided for comparison purposes only - for full gateway documentation contact gateway staff directly. Any fees are associated with the gateway, not Salsa. Salsa does not charge extra for using any merchant gateways.
Selecting a Merchant Account
Some Gateway Processors include a merchant account and some require you to select a merchant account separately. If your selected Gateway Processor requires a separate merchant account, you'll need to select and configure that account next.
A merchant account is an account that holds credit card payments and allows you to receive the money from a donation. When the payment gateway processes a payment, the money is transferred from the credit card company to your merchant account.
Many banks offer merchant accounts, so you might consider contacting your financial institution first. Other members have had good experiences using Chase Paymentech as well. If you are a customer of Authorize.net, they also offer merchant accounts.
A note about accepting American Express and Discover: If you want to be able to accept American Express and Discover, ask your merchant bank how to create accounts with these card companies. You will not automatically be able to accept these cards through Salsa until you have done the additional setup required by your merchant account.
Configure your gateway processor account to connect with your merchant account
You must configure your gateway processor to direct the money to your merchant account. If you have questions about how to do this, contact your gateway account vendor for directions.