Payment Strategy: 4 Questions CEOs Need to Ask

What Is My Business's Payment Strategy?

What do we mean by "payment strategy"?

Your payment strategy is your business's plan for using the payment processing options you provide for your customers as a selling point that differentiates you from your competitors and keeps your customers happy.

Rather than just being a way to accept payments, a true payment strategy encompasses an all-in-one solution that offers payment processing capabilities and features to enhance your product and support your customers' organizations.  

How do you implement a payment strategy?

Developing a payment strategy is more than just setting up payment options for your customers.

You’ll need to partner with a processor who understands your business, has the experience and resources to take care of your customers, offers dedicated support and training, and works alongside you to ensure your success.

The first step to setting up a long-term payment strategy is researching your payment processor options and determining the most effective path for your business.

When it comes to payment processors, there are a couple of basic paths that you can explore: merchant account providers and aggregators. 


Merchant Account Providers

Also called dedicated payment processors, merchant account providers will supply each of your nonprofit clients with an individual merchant account.

Generally speaking, merchant account providers will be able to give your clients a much more personalized, flexible payment solution. 

Because of the more direct relationship between a dedicated processor and your clients, these providers can contact nonprofits immediately if they detect fraudulent activity. That means fewer interruptions and a more secure experience for your clients.

Aggregate Payment Processors

Instead of providing clients with individual merchant accounts, aggregators will store all of your clients' transactions in one large shared account.

Getting started with an aggregate processor is simple and fast, but you won't get the personalized experience that a dedicated processor provides.

Since these providers are processing so many transactions simultaneously within one collective account, they won't be able to work with your clients to meet their needs on a one-on-one basis. 


Your business's payment strategy can influence your clients' success as well as your own, so it's important to think critically about your payment options. Partnering with a dedicated payment processor with experience and insight into the needs of your nonprofit customers will ultimately serve you better than choosing a quick-fix aggregator.

Learn more about the different types of payment processors.

Plus, see how iATS can highlight the advantages of a dedicated payment processor and improve your payment strategy!

How Can a Payments Partner Help My Bottom Line?

Improve Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Payment processing is essential for your customers, but having a payment strategy means more than merely being able to accept online payments.

To keep your customers happy, offer a payment solution that has insight into the nonprofit world and can understand their goals and potential pain points.  

When you provide your customers with a payment solution that enhances their overall experience, you'll establish deeper, more trustworthy relationships and retain more customers long-term.

Develop a Partnership That Will Grow With Your Business

It's important for your business to secure a payment solution that can meet your specific needs now and in the future.

Your payments partner should see your business as more than just a number in a sea of accounts; they should get to know you and your customers to assess and attend to your needs.

A generic payment processor won't take the time to understand your needs, nor will they supply the personalized attention necessary to help your customers thrive and empower your business to grow.

Maximize Your Security and Limit Interruptions

Of course, to combat fraudulent activity, your payment processor should have all the necessary fraud prevention measures in place to keep you and your customers safe. 

To make sure you're not at risk for frequent interruptions, opt for a merchant account provider rather than an aggregator.

If fraudulent activity is detected, an aggregator will freeze your client's account, often with no notification, halting all activity, even if you aren't at fault.

A merchant account provider can work with the account-holder individually to resolve the problem—no surprise interruptions!


Developing a payment strategy that supports your customers and ensures their success down the road can give you an edge over your competitors in a number of ways. Not only will your customers be more secure and satisfied now, but for years to come! 

What Should I Look for in a Payment Processor?


Your payment processing partner should be able to tailor their services to provide you with a solution that truly meets your needs—not a one-size-fits-all approach!

Look for a provider who is happy to work with your team one-on-one to determine the best ways to enhance your product and keep your customers happy. 

Payment Adaptability

From credit cards to eChecks and everything in between, it's important that your customers are equipped to handle all the different types of payments they'll be faced with.

Make sure your processor is adaptive to different payment types, and that they have security measures in place for each.

Nonprofit Knowledge

The nonprofit world is unique and multifaceted. To truly get the most out of your payment solution, search for a provider who understands the nuances of nonprofits and nonprofit solution providers.

Not only will these processors have experience working with like-minded businesses, but they'll also already have specific solutions in place to help your customers maximize revenue in a way that makes sense.

Streamlined Onboarding

The beginning phase of the payment processing experience is crucial for setting your customers up for success. Make sure that your payments partner can walk you through a seamless onboarding process and supply you with all the information you and your customers need.

During onboarding, your payments partner should help you understand how to use payments as a selling point, how your customer support and sales teams can anticipate and answer questions, and how your customers can get the most value from the payment processing solution.


Your provider should be able to customize every aspect of your payment processing experience. Partner with a provider who understands your customers' needs and is able to work with you to develop a payment strategy that perfectly fits your goals.

See How iATS Can Provide a Comprehensive Payment Solution.

Do I Have the Right Payments Partner?

The relationship between your company and your payment provider should be 50/50, with the payment processor supporting your business by helping you maximize customer retention, grow your revenue, and maintain security.

A payment processor can only be a partner if they truly understand your business and offer services that reflect your needs as a nonprofit solution provider.

With that in mind, search for a provider who can support your customers as comprehensively as possible.

To ensure your provider understands and can meet your needs, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has your vendor made an effort to get to know your team? Your customers?

  • Is your vendor well-versed in your product?

  • Do you have a dedicated resource assigned to your account? Do your customers?

  • Does your vendor understand your customers' goals?

  • How efficiently and in what manner does your provider respond to support inquiries?


Your payment processor should be a partner in helping your business and your customers grow. As you're researching the best solution, keep in mind that a payment processor can do more than facilitate monetary transactions—they should be a resource for maximizing your customers' success!

Learn more about partnering with iATS.

See how you can enhance your payment strategy by working with iATS, the only payment processor dedicated to serving the nonprofit sector.