Online Payment Processors

This is an expanded version of the notes from the 2009 SCaLE meeting.

Google Checkout


  • Low Fees, even if not 501(c)(3)
  • Discounted fees for 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Automatic transfer of money to designated account via ACH
  • E-mail support within a few days


  • No last-resort phone number
  • Useless reporting, data export
  • API use requires SSL certificate
  • Allows only one discounted account for each 501(c)(3) and will randomly suspend one of two, even if fees are paid
  • 501(c)(3) discounts now require use of AdWords



  • Wide user base


  • High fees
  • Varying US/Foreign fees
  • Account blocking solution to nearly all issues such as chargebacks
  • Additional e-mail addresses will periodically disappear
  • Canned-answer tech support
  • Broken reporting export
  • Relatively high rate of fraud

Click ‘n’ Pledge

  • Many donation types

Network For Good

  • Is a nonprofit
  • Is hard to reach

Pay Simple

  • Low fees
  • No reporting
  • Has API


  • No comments yet

Trust Commerce

  • Had API
  • Was great
  • Now too big or your own credit card processing

  • May require full-time security person
  • Be cautious of gray-market processors


European IBAN transfers are nice. All other methods are flawed.

$1 or $.01 payments are usually tests for fraudulent use, often with a chargeback to another account

Many users initiate a chargeback based on the weird entry on their credit card statement, such as “SPI” instead of “PostgreSQL”

Tip: Save money and account standing by sending checks to those who request chargebacks.

Tip: Some banks will offer a “lock box” post office box to which you can send checks and they will deposit them, directing all other mail to a specified address. Cost at Wells Fargo, California: $250/month More information.