Ballroom Competition Planning and Execution
SlidingDoors: On-Line Payment
SlidingDoors can be integrated with a few existing on-line payment programs, but it will require some amount of work from the host competition organization's end. Specifically CIB does not want to become a "clearing- house" for registration payments. Eric Nielsen has done some research into various services and lists the options below. CIB does offer support for PayPal at present, though no competition has used it yet.
Email Payment Services
There are a number of "email payment services" such as PayPal or C2IT. These services do not require the vendor (in this case your competition) to have a "Internet Merchant Account", but will require people paying on-line to establish a user account with the email payment service provider(EPSP). You will also have to setup an account with the EPSP in order to receive your money. Typically speaking this will require:
- An Email Address
- A Valid Credit Card
- A Valid Checking Account
- and in some cases, a Faxed Copy of Your Driver's License
- and in some cases, a Faxed Copy of a Recent Utility Bill
Note this is only to receive money. It is much easier to send money so it shouldn't inconvience your competitors.
While some people have complaints about these types of services, typically PayPal, often its because they didn't realize up-front what it takes to get money out of the system. If you choose to use this method, make sure you have activated/validated/etc your account and I would suggest doing a "test" transaction where you have someone send you a few bucks and make sure you can get the money, before opening registration.
If you use this method you'll just need to tell me which EPSP you're using and what email address to have the form send the money to.
Internet Merchant Account and CC Gateways
The other option costs significantly more to you, the competition organizar, and probably doesn't make sense unless you run multiple competitions a year, and have an addition Internet based business. Processing credit cards directly (not through one of the EPSP discussed above) requires you to hold a valid Internet Merchant Account. The bonus is that your users will not have to create a seperate (but easily created) user account to pay you and it won't have any of the possible stigma of PayPal/similar services.
Typically speaking an IMA costs about $300 a year and are normally only obtaining by a business, charity, non-profit, etc. You might be able to see if your school has an account/on-line shop that you can pass money through to your organizations account. Most of these services charge about 3.5% + $.35 per transaction and require sufficent volume to generate ~$30/mo in these fees minimum,or you end up paying the different between the collected fees and $30. So you see if you registration is open for 1-2 months with no payments being made outside that time you could easily get stuck with an extra $300 in fees on top of the $300 yearly fee.