Frequently Asked Questions - Merchant Accounts


[FAQ - Merchant Accounts] How do we accept online payments or donations on our website?

There are two common approaches, and both work well and have their advantages and disadvantages.

  1. PayPal — Easy to start and get going live on your website with a Donate or Pay Now button. It has higher transaction costs. PayPal is supported by Mal's E-Commerce cart which we use. — See our FAQ on PayPal.
  2. Credit Card Processor — Lower transaction costs and many are supported by Mal's E-Commerce cart which we use. May require a third-party payment gateway like Authorize.net to take funds stored in the cart and transfer them automatically to your accounts. (Some processors may do both.) See a list of supported processors on Mal's site.
  3. Shopping Cart information — see FAQ on Shopping Cart

What if my Credit Card Processor isn't on Mal's supported list? Or it is, and we just want a "Donate" or "Pay Now" button right now?

You contact your Credit Card Processor or PayPal and email us a specific web code or "HTML snippet" that we place on a donation or shop page. It contains a specific reference to your account which the processor generates specifically for your organization. For PayPal, the web code looks like this below. Other processors code would have a similar look.

<form method="post" action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr"> <input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_s-xclick" /> <input type="hidden" name="hosted_button_id" value="PRDYE8B4HPR8J" /> <input border="0" alt="PayPal" src="https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_donateCC_LG.gif" type="image" name="submit" /> <img border="0" alt="" width="1" height="1" src="https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif" /> </form>


What does that web code look like on my web page?

It creates a Donate button (or Buy Now, or Pay Now button) similar to the ones below. This sample images below are not linked to PayPal.

[We accept online payments and donations through PayPal.] [We accept online payments and donations through PayPal.] [We accept online payments and donations through PayPal.]

What cards should display?

Ask for MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and generic bank. Do NOT get Union Pay or strange new services.


What title should display?

Do NOT let processor just put your email address as the recipient. It should list your organization or company. If you are a private individual, it should list your name.


What if my Credit Card Processor cannot (or won't) give a code snippet? They say the purchase or donation has to be on their site?

Then just have them e-mail us a valid web address to their dedicated page for your purchases or donations. We will not call them for you — please have them e-mail the link.


Do you have examples of how other sites implement Mal's E-Commerce Cart on their shop or donate page?


Do you have examples of how other sites implement PayPal on their shop or donate page?


What about a QR code for smart phone donations or payments?

[Saint Demetrios Church in Tucson QR image]

What is a QR Code? It stands for "Quick Response" and it is a barcode that you can scan with a smart phone and when you scan it you are taken to a website. You can embed a QR code in your donate page, but that will only target smart phone visitors who have a QR scanning app like QR Droid for Android phones, or RedLaser for Apple, Android, or Windows phones.

If you choose to offer this method of payment for your visitors, you should also do this in addition to the other traditional online payment methods listed above.

Note the above QR code sample is a working QR code for donations to Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Tucson, Arizona. Scan it with your mobile phone and see the example. If it doesn't load, you may need to try another QR scanning application like QR Droid for Android phones.


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