In This Article:

    Select a Gateway Processor and Merchant Account

    In This Article:

      To accept funds through donation pages you need to select and setup a Merchant Gateway in your Salsa account.

      NOTE: this article references processes for Salsa Classic customers only. Please see these separate credit card processing articles for the Salsa CRM or Salsa Engage software platforms.


      When To Use It

      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:

      1. A gateway processor account (for processing the credit cards)
      2. 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:

      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.

        Democracy Engine Website Payments
      Pro 3.0
      Payflow Pro 2.0
      Process Recurring Donations Yes


      Only the initial recurring donation commitment is recorded in Salsa, and the gateway processor does not report subsequent transactions back to Salsa, even if the transaction is declined. Consequently, when a recurring donation is declined after it is initially set up, Salsa nevertheless shows success. This is because the gateway approves the recurring donation configuration initially, but when it tries to process a subsequent donation, it is declined.

      The installment transactions from that recurring commitment are only accessible within For an additional cost, a 3rd party option is available to enable reporting of subsequent recurring donations in Salsa - email for more information.


      PayPal Payments Pro has a recurring donations feature, but it is not compatible with Salsa.


      Additional $10 per month fee for recurring donations processing.

      Late Recurring DonationsFor recurring donations set to process on a date later than the number of days in that month (example: set to recur on the 31st, April only has 30 days) Donation will be processed on the last day of the month Donation will be processed on the last day of the month N/A  Donation will be processed on the last day of the month
      Refund Donations in Salsa Yes


      Refunds marked in Salsa are for record-keeping purposes only; actual refunds will need to be processed directly with the merchant gateway.


      Refunds marked in Salsa are for record-keeping purposes only; actual refunds will need to be processed directly with the merchant gateway.

      Includes Merchant Account

      None required

      Funds are held by DE and disbursed directly to you. See disbursement times below.


      See information on selecting a merchant account below



      You may add an integrated merchant account if you choose - Paypal offers some price breaks for the integrated merchant account. Contact Paypal for pricing details.

      Setup Free $49 Free $99

      No Monthly Fee

      4% + $0.30 / Transaction

      $25 USD Monthly

      2.9% + $0.30 / Transaction

      $30 USD Monthly

      2.2% + $0.30 / Transaction

      $25 USD MonthlyThese are the fees without integrated merchant account. If you add the integrated merchant account the fees are $30/month and 2.9% + $0.30/Transaction

      $0.10 / Transaction

      International Payments Yes Yes


      Available for international clients in Canada and the UK. Contact Keely at 402-935-2032 or


      Available for international clients in Australia. Contact Keely at 402-935-2032 or


      The User Info tab of donation pages will require the Email field (if you forget to add this, Democracy Engine will not be able to finish processing the transaction). Additionally, CVV numbers are absolutely required when submitting a donation to successfully process the transaction.

      Currently we do not support EFT transactions with this gateway.

      Payments are disbursed to you at the following times:

      • Electronic fund transfers to your account on Thursdays
      • Weekly check processing at Noon on Sunday
      • Monthly check processing on the first business day of the month

      For more information, please call 1-888-323-4289.


      Supports Electronic Fund Transfers (pay by check) and PayPal Direct. Recurring donations via Electronic Fund Transfer are not supported.

      NOTE: Salsa does not support recurring EFT transactions.

      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, 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.

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      • TrustCommerce is now an option -- can you update this documentation with their specific instructions?  Thanks!

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      • Hi Dawn,

        Unfortunately, TrustCommerce is not a supported merchant gateway.  Salsa only syncs with the merchant gateways described above.



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      • Is it possible to go through the PayPal Giving Fund, since it is a PayPal product?

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      • Is the new Salsa platform limited to these gateways, or are there expanded options with the DonorPro acquisition?

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