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Wild Apricot Podcast Episode 7: Understanding Online Payments for Nonprofits

Lori Smith 21 October 2015 4 comments

An interview with Stephen Bestbier, VP of Marketing & Business Development at iATS Payments

Interview with IATS PaymentsPrepare to be enlightened...because you are about to learn all about online payment processing! 

In this exclusive interview with Stephen Bestbier – VP of Marketing & Business Development at iATS Payments – we learn how your organization can get started accepting and managing online payments.

iATS is a payment provider, meaning they handle the processing of various currencies and ensure online payments are processed quickly, safely and securely.

What makes iATS stand out from other payment providers (like PayPal for instance) is that they focus specifically on the needs of charities and nonprofits around the world. You’ll learn why this is important in this exclusive interview – so make sure to listen to the end!  

What we cover in this interview:

  • requirements for safely and efficiently processing online payments (i.e., payment gateways and merchant accounts)
  • why nonprofits and charities especially need protection against fraud!
  • tricks for how you can save money on transaction fees by using Electronic Bank Transfers or Direct Debit
  • tips for setting up an optimal online donation form and increase recurring donations

Listen Now! or click below to subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes!

P.S. Stay tuned for Part II of this podcast: "The Future of Payments" where we talk with Tom Epplett, founder of iATS Payments, about peer fundraising, Bitcoin and more!

Additional Resources

Lori Smith [Smiley Apricot]

Posted by Lori Smith [Smiley Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 21 October 2015 at 10:10 AM


  • Edward Taubman said:

    Saturday, 31 October 2015 at 2:23 AM
    Soooooo I listened to the podcast and guess what..........It reinforced all the things WA is doing wrong when it comes to the holy grail of signing up people for recurring payments and in doing so making life simpler not complicated!!!

    For instance the moderator asks - what can we do to decrease abandonment for recurring payments. Answer: make the process as simple as possible with as few steps as possible; Well the number of steps and screens to process a WA recurring from the first click to the last credit card submit button is mind boggling not to mention confusing to the person trying to set up a recurring payment

    Secondly, the point is well made; we are collectively spending a ton of money on fees and time tracking down clients over expiry dates. The answer is ACH - we would love to have that capability on front and especially the back end to collect their information to pay from their bank accounts - but it would need to be made an option on a per client basis - ie Jim Jones; quarterly payments of $10: pay by ACH; enter his bank and account number; Done. As opposed to WA now; where to accommodate all the iitertions such as recurring vs invoice, monthly vs quarterly vs yearly, we already have over 50 membership levels to accomodate the different ways of paying so now for ACH we would need a 100 levels? No THx
  • Lori Smith [Smiley Apricot]

    Lori Smith [Smiley Apricot] said:

    Wednesday, 04 November 2015 at 4:38 PM
    Hi Edward,

    First, thanks for listening to our podcast. These are very good points and I am glad you brought them up.

    As you know, our goal at Wild Apricot is to make the payment process as simple as possible. If you have a specific issue regarding the way recurring payments are set up, please post these concerns to our Forums in the Wishlist section. We diligently go through these suggestions and make them part of our roadmap for product updates. In fact, our Product Manager has already been flagged to this issue.

    Here are a few forum threads on this topic:

    To your second point,I believe ACH payment set ups happens on the merchant side of things. But best to call our support for more details or talk to your payment provider. I know iATS supports this system - so maybe talk to them!

    Thanks again for your comments. Keep talking to us!
  • Edward Taubman said:

    Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 12:22 AM
    Thx for your listening. However, I feel the need to comment that the forums are already filled with lots and lots of frustrations with the present payment process. I can see the great merit of an ACH system with WA BUT it needs to be built in to an extremely simple process both on the front end and the back end. That functionality does not exist at this time let alone having two different payment processors for one account. For us I can visualize continuing to use our present processor auth.net but while on the phone with the client after chasing them down to get an expiry date asking if they wouldn't mind paying by check, getting their ACH bank and account numbers, entering them into their client profile and bam done. The client is happy because they don't trust giving out their credit cards numbers to begin with, we are happy because we just eliminated forever the need to track down that customer over an expired credit card date in the future, plus we then have more staff time to do all the other things we do while lowering our transaction fees. iATS is happy because they suddenly are getting lots of business - WA is happy because they have less griping about the payment process - the only unhappy entity are the credit card companies and processors who see a steady decline in their business. It's a wonderful idea but none of this functionality exists in WA!
  • Lori Smith [Smiley Apricot]

    Lori Smith [Smiley Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 05 November 2015 at 9:00 AM
    Hi Edward,

    Again - we are always seeking feedback and ways to improve our product. So I strongly suggest posting your issue to the forum. If you already see your particular issue listed in the forum, vote on it. If you don't, add it to the list. Both of these issues. This way something will get done about it.

    As for ACH or taking debit payments, my understanding is that you need a merchant account as well as a payment gateway. Auth.net is only a payment gateway, so it is not optimized to take debit payments.

    If this is an issue you really want to resolve, please call our support team (hit Contact Us below). They can take a good look at how you have things set up in Wild Apricot and help you optimize how you currently accept online payments. Also, I suggest contacting iATS' and see what they say about debit payments. Their staff are trained specifically to help the needs of small nonprofits, so they understand the idea that some people don't want to give out credit card information. They can work with you on these issues and get you set up for this method of accepting payments.

    Best of luck and thanks again for the great feedback.

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