Merchant Services FAQ

Blackbaud Merchant Services Basics
Mobile Credit Card Processing
Recurring Gifts
Updating Credit Card Data
EMV Chip Cards

Will Blackbaud Merchant Services work with my Blackbaud solutions?

Yes. Blackbaud Merchant Services is ready to use with our award-winning, PCI-compliant nonprofit software solutions such as The Raiser's Edge, NetCommunity, NetSolutions, Luminate Marketing, Blackbaud CRM, Altru, The Patron Edge, eTapestry, Online Express, and Online Express Bill Pay. Our seamless integration enables you to maximize your Blackbaud investment, so you'll eliminate double entry and gain extensive staff time savings with streamlined bank deposit reconciliations.

Which cards can I accept with Blackbaud Merchant Services?

With Blackbaud Merchant Services, your nonprofit can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Maestro (where accepted) credit cards.

Does Blackbaud Merchant Services process debit cards?

Yes. Blackbaud Merchant Services will process debit cards that do not require a PIN.

Do I need a credit card merchant account?

No. You do not need to have individual credit card merchant accounts. Blackbaud Merchant Services handles the relationships with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Maestro.

Do I need to keep my current merchant accounts with Visa/MasterCard and with American Express?

It's not necessary. When you use Blackbaud Merchant Services, Blackbaud is your single point of contact for your Blackbaud software, gateway, merchant accounts, and PCI compliance. So, when you have a question, you contact Blackbaud for support.

Can I keep my relationship with my local bank?

Yes. Blackbaud Merchant Services deposits funds into your bank (or banks) of choice.

What is Blackbaud OneRATE?

Blackbaud OneRATE gives you one simple rate across all transaction and credit card types—including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and even American Express. Maestro is also included where accepted. Blackbaud Merchant Services processes all types of transactions, including real-time, batch, point-of-sale, "card present", and "card not present". The rate is the same, regardless of card type, even for rewards cards, corporate cards, and cash-back cards. With OneRATE, there are no hidden or additional fees. You might be surprised to learn how much you are really paying when you factor in all of the extra fees. A Payment Services Specialist can help with a free analysis.

Can Blackbaud Merchant Services save my valuable staff time?

Yes. In most cases, Blackbaud Merchant Services clients save considerable time during reconciliation of credit card transactions with their bank statements because payments are grouped and disbursed together. Each donation is listed on your disbursement report, eliminating the guesswork of which payments/donations correspond to which bank deposit. Many nonprofits also eliminate wasteful double-entry, allowing them to spend more time on their organization's mission.

What currencies does Blackbaud Merchant Services process?

With Blackbaud Merchant Services, you can accept online payments or donations from anywhere around the world when your supporters use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner's Club, or Maestro, and they will see the charge in their local currency. You select the currency in which you would like the funds disbursed. Currently, Blackbaud Merchant Services disburses in US dollars (USD), Canadian dollars (CAD), British pounds (GBP), and Euros. Blackbaud Merchant Services will continue to add support for additional currencies, so please contact us if you process payments in other currencies.

For additional questions about Blackbaud Merchant Services, chat with Payment Services Support. UK clients please visit the Blackbaud UK website.

When will I receive my funds from Blackbaud?

Blackbaud disburses funds into your nonprofit organization's designated bank account four times per month. By combining a week's worth of payments/gifts from Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Maestro (where accepted) into one deposit, we help streamline your bank reconciliation process. Transaction fees are subtracted, and net funds are deposited in your organization's bank account. Of course, your Blackbaud solution (such as The Raiser's Edge), will display the full amount of the donation or payment.

You can always access your information and see your payments in real time in the Blackbaud Merchant Services web portal.

Can I accept credit card payments with my mobile phone or tablet?

Yes. Using Blackbaud MobilePay, which is integrated with Blackbaud Merchant Services, you can process credit card donations from  iPhone, iPad or Android phones or tablets. Blackbaud MobilePay transactions can be made with our card reader or by manually keying in the credit card data. In addition, Blackbaud MobilePay is now integrated with The Raiser’s Edge Event module and app, enabling you to check-in attendees, register new guests, and accept credit card payments at offsite events using your iPad. All data is then integrated directly into your Raiser’s Edge database. Learn More.

Can I process transactions remotely and at any time?

Yes. You will have unlimited 24/7 access to a secure, online portal where you can process payments at offsite events. Also, with Blackbaud MobilePay, you can process donations on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet so that you never miss a donation. Transactions are made by swiping the credit card through a Blackbaud MobilePay credit card reader or by entering the credit card information into the application manually. And, since Blackbaud MobilePay is now integrated with The Raiser’s Edge Event module and app, you can manage nearly all offsite event functions—attendee check-in, attendee registration and payments—using your iPad. The data you enter automatically syncs with your Raiser’s Edge database.

Which mobile phones and tablets are compatible with Blackbaud MobilePay?

Blackbaud MobilePay works with iPhones, iPads or iPods running iOS 6.0 or higher. Some Android phones and tablets have experienced incompatibility issues. Please contact Payment Services Support with any questions.

Is there an extra charge for Blackbaud MobilePay?

No. Blackbaud MobilePay is a free service for accepting and processing credit card donations on your iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet. Once you register for Blackbaud MobilePay, you’ll be provided with up to two card readers at no charge* (additional card readers are available upon request). Blackbaud MobilePay uses Blackbaud Merchant Services for non profit credit card processing, disbursement, and reconciliation. With OneRATE, you pay one low rate on every transaction and there are no hidden fees or mobile processing charges. Blackbaud MobilePay is also now integrated with The Raiser’s Edge Event module and app, enabling your organization to check-in attendees, register new guests, and take payments at offsite events using an iPad. That event data then appears in your Raiser’s Edge database.

 * Up to two credit card readers are free to Blackbaud clients.  

What markets is Blackbaud MobilePay currently available in?

Blackbaud MobilePay is currently available in the US and Canada.

Is Blackbaud MobilePay integrated with Blackbaud CRM solutions?

Blackbaud MobilePay is integrated with Blackbaud Merchant Services as well as The Raiser’s Edge Event module and app, allowing MobilePay transactions to sync with your Raiser’s Edge database. It is not yet integrated with our other CRM solutions. However, you can still synchronize your systems by easily exporting transactions from the Blackbaud Merchant Services web portal and importing or keying them in to your other Blackbaud applications. In addition, clients using Altru or Blackbaud CRM 3.0 or higher with Blackbaud Merchant Services’ auto reconciliation feature can map Blackbaud MobilePay transaction data to constituents in their other Blackbaud solutions without a manual export and import of data. We are continuing to expand Blackbaud MobilePay integration with our other Blackbaud products in the coming months.

Does Blackbaud MobilePay provide the end consumer a receipt or confirmation of payment?

Yes. Once the transaction is processed via Blackbaud MobilePay, the consumer can optionally receive an automated email receipt/confirmation. The email receipt/confirmation is delivered to the consumer-provided email address. The Blackbaud MobilePay system-generated email receipt/confirmation currently supports HTML format. PDF confirmation/receipts are not currently supported, but may be available in future versions. In addition, Blackbaud Merchant Services retains a master copy of all MobilePay transactions. Blackbaud Merchant Services and the Blackbaud MobilePay app also enable organizations to re-send the receipt/confirmation. Please consult your tax advisor on your donation tax receipt requirements.

What type of reporting is available?

You will have unlimited 24/7 access to a secure, online portal where you can see your transactions in real time, do reconciliations, and run or export batch, detail, or custom reports. You will be able to save time reconciling your bank statements with detailed disbursement reports that show you which transactions were included in each deposit—no more guesswork when reconciling your statements!

Is it safe to use Blackbaud Merchant Services?

Absolutely. Blackbaud has been processing payments for more than 10 years, and we have helped nonprofits process and raise billions of dollars for their causes. Blackbaud Merchant Services provides you with an end-to-end PCI-compliant solution. Our Blackbaud Vault encrypts sensitive information and keeps your donors secure by removing all of the risks associated with storing credit card information. With so much of the PCI compliance handled by Blackbaud, you'll spend more time on your organization's mission.

Is Blackbaud MobilePay data secure?

Yes. Upon swipe, Blackbaud MobilePay immediately encrypts and stores all credit card information on Blackbaud’s secure servers—and not on the mobile phone or tablet. This helps your nonprofit organization comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS.)

What fraud-prevention features are available in Blackbaud Merchant Services?

All Blackbaud Merchant Services clients benefit from standard fraud prevention. For organizations that require additional fraud prevention for their credit card processing, Blackbaud Merchant Services offers a premium Fraud Management service that provides comprehensive screening to help detect payment card fraud. This service is available for a nominal per-transaction charge. Download the datasheet here.

Can I process recurring gifts with Blackbaud Merchant Services?

Yes. You continue to set them up in your Blackbaud solution, and credit card payments are processed via Blackbaud Merchant Services. In addition, our Credit Card Updater service—now available for Luminate Online Marketing and The Raiser’s Edge clients using Blackbaud Merchant Services—makes it possible to update Visa, MasterCard, and Discover data for credit cards issued by participating US banks.

How can Blackbaud Merchant Services help me keep credit card data, such as expiration dates, current?

Blackbaud Merchant Services includes Credit Card Updater, a service designed to help keep credit card data accurate. Blackbaud partners with Visa, MasterCard, and Discover to provide a premium credit card update service. When your organization subscribes to this service, credit card data for your sustaining gifts is analyzed each month to identify expired or out-of-date credit card information. Credit Card Updater provides new card numbers and expiration dates when available. Currently, this is service is accessible to Luminate Online Marketing and The Raiser’s Edge clients using Blackbaud Merchant Services.

Does Credit Card Updater also update American Express cards and cards issued outside of the US?

Credit Card Updater does not currently offer card updates for American Express cards. Updates are currently available for Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards issued by participating US banks.

Is there an additional charge for Credit Card Updater?

Yes. There is a nominal cost of $0.30 per update (or $30 minimum per month). This cost is easily offset by the financial loss of not collecting a recurring gift due to expired card information. In addition, by using Credit Card Updater, you won’t risk losing the gift by contacting the donor about the expired card. This will also free up staff time that might otherwise be spent on outreach to donors whose cards have expired.

How do I sign up for Credit Card Updater?

To initiate the Credit Card Updater service, please email Payment Services.

What is EMV?

U.S. banks are now issuing EMV chip credit cards. EMV is named after its original developers: Europay, MasterCard and Visa. These credit cards have a small computer chip that makes them more difficult to counterfeit with the intent of significantly reducing fraud for card-present transactions.

What is happening in October 2015 regarding credit cards with EMV chips?

On October 1, 2015, the card networks are implementing chargeback rule changes that shift the card-present liability in the event of a chargeback due to fraud to merchants/nonprofits if an EMV card is presented, but the transaction is not completed using an EMV/chip reader. Today, if there is card-present fraud, the card issuer usually takes on that liability and chargeback. However, starting October 1, 2015, if your nonprofit accepts payments in a card-present environment and does not have a terminal, virtual terminal, mobile device, or point-of-sale system that is enabled to process EMV secure chip cards, you may be liable in the event of a chargeback that results from fraud.

What is the impact on nonprofit organizations?

In general, nonprofits experience very low rates of fraud, typically 0.05 percent of charges are disputed as chargebacks and, of those, less than 20 percent are due to fraud and nearly all are online transactions, not in-person transactions. A typical organization that processes 4,000 transactions per year would have, on average, two chargebacks per year (mostly online charges). So, to most nonprofits, the impact of this change is minimal.

Do I need to purchase all new EMV-capable credit card readers?

No. Existing credit card readers—including Blackbaud MobilePay—will continue to work for current credit cards and new EMV chip cards. There are no industry requirements or fines forcing the purchase of new card readers.

What is the liability risk to my nonprofit to continue using my current card readers?

How much fraudulent card-present activity is your organization currently experiencing for in-person transactions? The risk is only for fraudulent transactions that have an EMV chip used in a card-present transaction. For these charges, there is a liability shift. Typically, the risk is extremely low for nonprofit organizations.

Upon availability of EMV card readers, what will the cost be to the nonprofit?

The average cost of an EMV-compliant point-of-sale terminal is $500.

Is there a plan to eliminate the magnetic stripe in the long run?

There are no specific plans to eliminate the magnetic stripe. Worldwide chip migration will be gradual, and until we reach ubiquity, the magnetic stripe on the back of the card will continue to provide global interoperability.

Is there a liability shift for EMV cards that applies to online/website credit card transactions?

No. EMV chip card liability rules apply only to card-present transactions in which you read the card information from a machine. They do not apply when credit card numbers are typed into a website or other system.

Will online transactions be impacted at all by the move to EMV chip cards?

As EMV technology becomes more widely used for card-present transactions, it is expected that fraudsters may shift more to online or card-not-present transactions. Nonprofits should be prepared for this anticipated shift and utilize fraud-prevention tools. Blackbaud Merchant Services offers Premium Fraud Management in addition to its standard fraud-prevention settings.

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