How to run your summer camp better with payment forms

How to run your summer camp better with payment forms

Camps may come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s a common thread that binds them all together: an underlying mission to help people realize their potential and improve their lives.

That’s what makes camps so special.

But your camp is still a business and you need to get paid.

Like any other business or organization, you have employees to pay, expenses to cover, and, above all, a duty to ensure that your camp will be around for future campers to enjoy.

As a versatile data-collection tool, Jotform allows you to control the look of your online form, the type of information you collect, and how you collect or share it. This freedom of choice even extends to collecting debit and credit card payments through your forms using any one of our more than 30 payment processor integrations.

A recent analysis of more than 7,552 Jotform users who run, organize, or manage camps worldwide found that nearly 31 percent, or 2,314 organizations, used their online forms to collect payments.

These camp organizations used several different payment processors to collect payments from campers or their families, but the top three were PayPal Standard (1,666 users), Square (550 users), and Stripe (307 users).

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The analysis also found that slightly more than 22 percent of the Jotform users who run, organize, and manage camps, or 1,682 individual organizations, incorporated payment widgets into their online payment forms. These payment widgets can manage the availability of a camp’s services and ensure participants are charged the correct amount, among other things.

We’ll help you narrow down your list of payment options by highlighting the top six payment processors preferred by fellow summer camp operators, managers, and organizers around the world.

1. PayPal Standard

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Among all of our integrations with payment processors, PayPal Standard was used by camp organizations more often than any of the others. 

Of the 2,314 camp organizations that use Jotform to collect payments, nearly 72 percent of them selected PayPal Standard as their payment processor of choice.

With the ability to support 25 different currencies and work in more than 200 countries or regions throughout the world, PayPal’s broad reach — not to mention its longevity — have made it one of the most recognizable payment processors in the world.

PayPal’s processing fees for online transactions are also standardized and relatively easy to follow. In the United States, those fees are 2.99 percent of the total transaction amount, plus 49 cents or another fixed fee based on the currency you’re collecting.

If you are collecting payments outside of the United States, your processing fees will vary depending on whether there is a currency conversion. The fee will range from 3 to 4 percent of the total transaction amount for currency conversion, based on the type of transaction, plus a fixed fee determined by the currency you collect.

PayPal offers lower processing fees for registered charities and nonprofit organizations. In addition to a fixed rate based on the currency you collect, these reduced fees are 1.99 percent of the total transaction amount in the United States and rest of the world, respectively.

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2. Square

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Although its services are only available in four countries, Square has firmly established itself as a leading payment processor.

In fact, close to 24 percent of the camp organizations that use Jotform to collect payments use Square.

Square has been around since 2009 and is relatively new compared to other popular payment processors, such as PayPal, which was first established in late 1998. As of early 2020, Square is only available in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The good news is that Square’s payment processing fees are competitive and comparatively low, which is one of the reasons why they don’t offer discounted rates for registered nonprofit organizations.

That said, Square’s transaction fees are a little complex and vary based on where and how you’re collecting payments.

For example, payment processing fees for online transactions in the United States and Canada are 2.9 percent of the total amount plus 30 cents. Meanwhile, those same payment processing fees for online transactions are 2.2 percent in Australia and 1.4% + 25p for UK cards and 2.5% + 25p for non-UK cards in the United Kingdom.

Did someone say free?

Jotform is partnering with Square to offer two special promotions for businesses that integrate their online forms with the payment processor’s services.

Regardless of whether you’re a new or existing Square customer, you can now accept up to 100 payments each month for free when you integrate Square into your online payment form in Jotform.

As an added bonus, new Square customers can get processing fees waived for up to $1,000 in card transactions made through a Square payment form in JotForm. This offer is good for your first 180 days as a new Square customer.

Once people fill out your form and submit it with their credit or debit card information, Square will process their payment and, once money is deposited into your account, reimburse the processing fees.

Since Jotform users who haven’t created a Square account can take advantage of both of these offers, there’s no better time than now to try out the payment processor’s services.

3. Stripe

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Stripe, like Square, is one of the newer kids on the block. The payment processor got off the ground in 2011.

While Square has focused their growth in four key countries, Stripe expanded its reach over the years and can now process payments on behalf of businesses in more than 36 countries, including Canada, Australia, India, and the United Kingdom, as of early 2020.

Slightly more than 13 percent of the Jotform users who run, manage, or organize camps use Stripe to process payments collected through their online forms.

To keep their payment processing fees competitive, Stripe has long set their fees for online transactions at 2.9 percent of the total amount plus 30 cents. This flat rate matches the payment processing fees charged by Square for online transactions in the United States and Canada.

Stripe also charges additional fees for processing international cards, converting payments to another currency, and using 3D Secure to authenticate credit or debit card payments.

An additional 2-percent fee applies to online transactions that require currency conversion. An additional 3-cent fee is also charged for each attempt to authenticate a cardholder’s identity using 3D Secure while a debit or credit card purchase is being processed.

Check it out…

Can’t decide between PayPal or Stripe? We’ve broken down some key differences between these two powerful — and popular — payment processors on our blog and YouTube channel.

4. PayPal Checkout

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PayPal Checkout is a convenient payment gateway that eliminates the need for repetitive manual data entry by allowing people to simply log into their PayPal account and apply any saved information to their online transaction.

At its core, this frictionless process enables camp organizations to collect payments without constantly asking participants or their families for their credit card information, shipping address, billing details, and other data that’s already stored in PayPal. This, in turn, saves time and ensures that payments are transferred securely within PayPal’s system.

PayPal Checkout, formerly known as PayPal Express Checkout, is also convenient because it doesn’t redirect camp participants or their families away from your website or online form when they make a purchase.

In all, more than 10 percent of the Jotform users who run, manage, or organize camps use PayPal Checkout to process card payments through their online forms.

PayPal Checkout is a unique payment processor integration for Jotform because it’s the first one that accepts payments through Venmo, a PayPal-owned app that seamlessly transfers money from one account to another in the United States.

To keep things simple, PayPal Checkout and PayPal Standard share the same payment processing fee structure for online debit and credit card transactions.

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5. Authorize.Net

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Authorize.Net has been operating in the online payments realm since 1996, well before it was acquired by CyberSource in 2007 and Visa in 2010.

Authorize.Net is also the payment processor integration of choice for about 9 percent of the Jotform users who run, manage, or organize camps and collect payments through their online forms.

The payment processor, however, is only available for businesses based in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

If your organization just wants a merchant account to collect payments, Authorize.Net will charge a payment processing fee of 2.9 percent of the total amount plus 30 cents, a rate that’s currently on par with those offered by Square and Stripe.

If your organization only wants to use Authorize.Net’s payment gateway, you’ll be charged 10 cents per transaction along with a 10-cent daily batch fee.

Unlike some of the other payment processors that don’t require a setup fee or a monthly fee, Authorize.Net charges a $25 monthly fee to process online transactions through their payment gateway.

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6. PayPal Payments Pro

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PayPal Payments Pro is an enterprise solution that enables you to create a fully customizable and frictionless checkout experience on your website.

This means you can accept credit and debit card payments without redirecting customers away from your website to complete their online transaction.

PayPal Payments Pro also allows you to offer camp participants and their families more ways to pay, including PayPal and PayPal Credit, which allows you to get paid immediately but lets camp participants or their families pay over time using special financing options.

Although only 3 percent of the camp organizations that collect payments through Jotform use PayPal Payments Pro, this solution is particularly attractive for organizations that want to design a checkout process to meet their needs.

Much like PayPal Standard and PayPal Checkout, credit or debit card transactions made through PayPal Payments Pro will incur a processing fee equal to 2.99 percent of the total amount plus 49 cents.

PayPal Payments Pro users, however, must pay $30 per month to use the enterprise-level service, although discounted rates are available for registered nonprofit organizations and charities.

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So how do you find the payment processor that works best for you?

It comes down to a number of factors, including where you’re located, where your campers live, how you want to collect payments, and, in some cases, whether you’re willing to pay a little more to make the purchasing experience even more seamless.

What matters most is that you have everything you need to run your camp smoothly and stay around for even more people to enjoy.

If you haven’t done so already, give Jotform and one of our more than 30 payment processors a try today. See how we’re improving the way money changes hands so you can keep making a positive impact in the world.

Darin is a content marketer who's passionate about disrupting perceptions, solving problems, and helping people be more productive. Outside of the office, he is a rush-hour straphanger, adventure seeker, coffee drinker, and frequent traveler.

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