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Using the Built-in Merchant Account

ClubExpress has a merchant account built-in. Charges appear on user statements using a shortened version of your club or association name, and the funds flow into our bank account. Then 3x per month (on the 10th, 20th, and last day of the month), we use an ACH to securely transfer the funds directly into your bank account and to collect the merchant processing fees at the same time. 
ClubExpress also has the ability to split collected funds into different bank accounts for you. For example, if your club has chapters or districts that charge their own fees, these funds can be deposited directly into each bank account.

ClubExpress does not charge a separate "per transaction" fee, as do many of our competitors. (Their pricing suddenly gets a lot more expensive when you add in the per-transaction fees charged for each member signup, renewal, event registration, donation, etc.) But we do pass through the merchant processing fees at our actual cost, without markup, as if you had established your own credit card merchant account. Here are the fees:

Visa and Discover 2.39% + 20¢
MasterCard 2.89% + 20¢
American Express (can be disabled) 3.30% + 20¢
Chargebacks $15.00

Setting Up Your Own Merchant Account

Some associations want their own merchant account and ClubExpress fully supports this option: The primary reason for doing this is so the funds flow directly into your bank account, without first spending a few days in our bank account. A secondary reason is that it allows you to process larger transactions such as donations (see below for more information.)
One disadvantage is that it may be a little more expensive because of the one-time setup fee and small monthly fee that some merchant processors charge. The other disadvantage is that we cannot distribute the funds into different bank accounts for you.

When you set up a merchant account to accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover, you are usually signing a contract with two companies:
  • The merchant processor which handles billing, accounting and disputes;
  • A payment gateway which actually handles the charging process.
(If you also accept American Express, you may also have a separate contract with Amex, although it will be configured to use the same payment gateway.)

We don't care which merchant processor you use but for individual merchant accounts, ClubExpress uses the Authorize.Net payment gateway, which is widely supported and highly secure. Most merchant processors support Authorize.Net. If you have an existing merchant account, you may already be using Authorize.Net; if not, ask them if they can switch. If not, many other processors and banks can do so.

Once your merchant processor account is set up, configuring it in ClubExpress is easy. Just review the information in Appendix D of our Administrator Manual.

When Your Own Merchant Account Is Required

We require you to have your own merchant account if ANY of the following are true:
  • If you are a membership-based business rather than a non-profit club or association.
  • If you want to enable the ClubExpress E-Commerce Storefront module to sell merchandise through the website.
  • If you want to enable fully automated monthly or quarterly membership payments using a saved credit card.
  • If your club has a restaurant or bar facility and you need to process member "tabs" (food or drink charges).
  • If you need to regularly process large transactions (for example, over $1500).
  • If state law prohibits your organization (such as a large public university) from giving us access to a bank account to deposit collected funds and collect the merchant processing fees.

Also, clubs located in Canada, the UK, and Australia need their own merchant account in their local currency through Authorize.Net (not the facility described below.) See the Authorize.Net website for your country, for more information.

Using EVO Payments, Our Merchant Processor

If you're not sure how to set up your own merchant account, we can help. ClubExpress has set up a partnership with one of our merchant processors, EVO Payments, to support our customers, including specially lowered setup fees, monthly fees and transaction fees. For more information, and the application form, click the following link:
Having your own merchant account is generally suitable for clubs and associations that expect to charge at least $1000 per month to the account. This is especially true for organizations having rolling membership renewals and events throughout the year. Merchant accounts generally have a monthly minimum fee requirement, which you can meet more easily with rolling renewals and a frequent event schedule.

Comparing Fees

Here's how the different fees compare for the built-in merchant account vs. having your own account through EVO Payments. You can also use this chart to compare rates with other merchant processors, perhaps through your local bank.


The ClubExpress Built-in

Merchant Account

The ClubExpress Deal

with EVO Payments

Merchant Processor Setup Fee $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Merchant Processor Monthly Fee $ 0.00 $10.00

Merchant Processor Per Transaction Fee

(Visa & Discover only. MasterCard &
American Express are also supported
at slightly higher rates.)

2.39% + 20¢

2.29% + 25¢
(Note 1)

Monthly Minimums (fees to the

merchant processor)



(Note 2)

Payment Gateway Setup Fee  $ 0.00  $ 79.00
Payment Gateway Monthly Fee $ 0.00 $ 15.00

Payment Gateway

Per Transaction Fee

First 250 free

5¢ thereafter

Chargebacks $ 15.00

 $ 25.00

Note 1: A higher rate of 3.24% will be charged for non-qualified cards (should be less than 5% of transactions).

Note 2: The $25 monthly minimum charge means that you should be doing about $1000 in charges per month. Including the monthly fees, you would then be paying $50 per month for the benefits listed above.

Setting up a merchant account can be complex. With the account built into ClubExpress and with this partnership through EVO Payments, we're trying to simplify it as much as possible. Please call us if you have any questions about credit card processing.

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