Online Payment Processing Guide for PTOs and PTAs
Does your PTO or PTA accept electronic payments? If not, it’s a step you might want to consider—accepting online payments and credit cards can significantly increase your income. And in today’s increasingly mobile world, your school’s parents are less and less likely to have cash or paper checks with them when they attend events and activities.
Taking the step might seem daunting, but our online payment processing guide for PTOs and PTAs will help you understand the benefits and risks, the how-tos, and the costs of doing business with credit cards and other electronic payments.
Inside the Online Payment Processing Guide for PTOs and PTAs:
Is Online Payment Processing Right for Your PTO?
Accepting online payments is a step up on the sophistication ladder for a parent group. If you’re thinking of making the transition, here are the factors to consider.
How It Works
Nuts-and-bolts information about swiping, tapping, and other payment methods, whether you’re collecting them in person or online.
How Much Will It Cost?
What it takes to start up, dealing with fees and bad transactions, and more.
Financial Controls and Best Practices
Good controls to minimize risk and help protect your customers and parent group alike.
How Do We Get Started?
Next steps once you’ve made the decision to go digital.
Overview of Options
Commonly used providers for your group to consider.
Simplified definitions for terms you’ll come across oftenAA
Sample PTO Payments Policy
Suggested best practices for your board to adopt when you decide to accept credit card and online payments.
Should Your PTO Accept Online Payments?
It’s not surprising that accepting credit cards and other electronic payments can significantly increase your income. Studies show that people tend to spend more money when they can use a credit card or debit account rather than spending cash they have on hand or writing a check.
These days, many families have gotten comfortable with electronic payment options—it’s how a lot of online retailers and food delivery services accept payments, after all. It’s also gotten a lot simpler for organizations (like your school parent group) to set up its own electronic payment account. You can offer your supporters the convenience of submitting credit or debit payments, either through your website or in person with a mobile device and card reader.
Before setting up an online payment processing account, confirm that you meet the following conditions:
Your group has strong financial controls.
Your membership base wants payment options besides cash and check.
You have a supportive and collaborative leadership team.
There’s long-term financial and organizational maturity.
It’s worthwhile from a volume standpoint.
You have at least one person who can maintain the system.
We’ve put together this guide to help you understand the benefits and risks, the how-tos, and the costs of online payment processing. But remember: As with all technology-related services, changes in the industry happen rapidly. Do your due diligence and read the fine print before signing up with a service provider.
Still have questions? Call us at 800-644-3561; we’re here to help.