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Best Practices for Covering Credit Card Processing Fees

Industry experts discuss why organizations should absorb credit card processing fees.

Pete Zimek, CAE avatar
Written by Pete Zimek, CAE
Updated over a week ago

Sometimes it can be hard to stomach credit card fees. They sit in your list of expenses on the P&L almost taunting you. Sometimes it's hard to remember that credit card fees are more than just a "cost of doing business." They cover a significant amount of automation that ultimately makes it easier for your members to register for your events and pay your dues. The fees also cover the automation that drastically removes the amount of A/R you need to chase down and checks that you need to process.

As I read other sources, I'll try to compile some thoughts and best practices from your industry peers and experts. Hopefully some additional thoughts will help.

From ASAE Collaborate, February 2020

We cover the cost in the sponsorship. We look at it as a cost of doing business and a convenient and faster way of collecting payment. We don’t want to penalize our members / sponsors because they choose credit card over check.

-Tom Morrison, CEO MTI Management

I completely agree with Tom. All of the associations for which we handle sponsorship, exhibits and advertising include that as part of the purchase. As Tom said we don't want to create obstacles and oftentimes credit card is easier for both the association and the purchaser.

-Scott Oser, Scott Oser Associates

Posted on the NAA Affiliate Website, February 2020

Since credit card processing fees are a basic component of doing business, we budget accordingly for that GL code. We do not increase prices on products solely based on those fees, and we definitely don't want to add a service charge or any other obstacle that would discourage instant credit card payments. Online credit card payments are my best friend in terms of accounting, with less time spent in reconciliation and collections.

However, that first year with Novi, we did incur a significantly larger amount of fees, but the upside was quick pay, higher collection rate and overall increased sales that I attribute to Novi.

So it may be difficult to stay in budget on that particular GL code this first year, because the amount of fees is unknown. But trust me... the overall increased income you will see from Novi will cover that and then some! Next year you'll have a baseline to budget from on that code. Your budget might just LOOK ugly that first year, but the bottom line will be beautiful!

Side Note:  We use a cash-back business credit card to pay nearly all of our expenses. So internally, we consider that the "free money" we get in cash back will cover those fees. I highly recommend a Capital One Spark card for business. We use it to auto-pay our state & national membership dues, pay event venues & vendors, business & conference travel... basically everything!

-Holli Noel-DePold, Southwest Florida Apartment Association 

Related Articles

While Novi does not offer functionality to pass along
mandatory credit card fees, there is a feature available
to request an optional donation to cover the fees.

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