Merchant Accounts For Non-Profit Business

Not for profit businesses are often able to receive discounted pricing for many business services because of their legal structure. However, most merchant service providers don't give non-profit merchant accounts special consideration. The news isn't all bad, though. If you're a non-profit business looking for credit card processing, you can get low rates and fees by finding a niche provider or by using your company's legal structure as bargaining power.

There are literally thousands of different service providers that write merchant accounts through a handful of large third-party processors and acquiring banks. Providers apply a mark-up to the rates and fees charged by the processor through which they write merchant accounts. Each individual provider has a certain amount of control over their mark-up and the rates and fees that they ultimately offer merchants.

In an attempt to curb the heavy competition that exists in the merchant processing industry, many providers will target a specific niche. Processors don't offer discounted rates on merchant accounts for non-profit businesses, but there are providers whose niche targets not for profit companies. These providers attempt to offer comparatively lower rates and fees to companies that can produce documentation proving non-profit status.

Of course, the competition in the merchant processing industry makes it possible to get low rates and fees from almost any provider regardless of your company's legal structure. The key is to compare merchant accounts and put effort into working with providers to bring rates and fees down.

A great way to find the best merchant account is to use an online quoting service like to get merchant account quotes from multiple providers. This service in particular lets you indicate that your company is not for profit so providers know this when they're offering you service quotes.

Regardless of how you obtain merchant account quotes, you will save yourself a lot of time by being forward with the providers that you contact. Let them know right away that your company is a non-profit and tell them what you're looking for in a merchant account. Providers can't read you mind, but they'll do what they can to earn your business if they're told how to do so.

You're going to find that many providers don't offer predefined special pricing for non-profits, but they'll most likely be willing to work with you to create a merchant account that fits your needs.

Whether your business is non-profit or not, it's important to know that the best merchant account can't be found on the Internet or by calling a few numbers in the phone book. The ideal merchant account for your business doesn't exist until you spend the time to work with a provider to create it. Don't disqualify a provider that initially says that they don't offer special pricing for non-profit businesses.