Online Credit Card Processing for New Member Applications

  • Post-9/11 veterans are not afraid to use their credit cards online.
  • The VFW wants to recruit young veterans.
  • has a solid subscription sales service online.
  • However, all new members go to the large catch-all member-at-large post in each state. 
  • Eventually, the new member may transfer to a specific post. 
  • So how can a VFW post accept credit card payments for new members?

This was the issue I was considering when I posted in the Facebook > VFW Post Commanders Discussion Group.

Comrades: I am looking to use an online payment processing service to accept payment for new memberships. I see that Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW Post 1 uses a PayPal integration with JotForm. Does anyone in here have thoughts on PayPal, Stripe, Square, Blue Pay or WePay?

This was perhaps not the best forum to ask a technical question. Two posters offered unfavorable reviews of Square and the others drifted from the question. So I reposted:

Comrades: Thank you all for your input on online payment processing services (Square, PayPal, WePay, Stripe, BluePay, Braintree, etc.) for accepting online payments for NEW VFW memberships.Just to clarify and refocus the discussion: all applications MUST be vetted and voted on (by-laws); any service must be able to refund the full transaction and processing fee (Braintree does) if application is not accepted; the service must take major credit cards; new member application must go to the post and not membership-at-large; and the processing fees can’t outweigh the convenience (and impulse buying).In other words, I want to make the new member application process for the post easier, faster, and digital. Because of phishing scams (stealing credit card numbers and PII), JotForm requires any credit card information to go to an online payment processing service.

After some research, I finally went with the easiest vendor that integrates with JotForm. Within an hour I had a Square account, my information loaded, and the credit card block in our new member form. I figure it costs $1.17 in processing fees for each new member at $30.00. I can justify this as a marketing expenditure in reducing sales barriers.

However, I will not offer be offering credit card processing on life memberships. It is just too much.

We had been collecting credit card information in form fields, but came to find out this is a phishing tactic and our account was frozen for violating the terms of service. I would create my own form but JotForm offers powerful tools and easy customization. 

We shall see if this effort pays off. We approved a modest budget for a spring marketing campaign seeking new members and I want to make sure our digital tools are working just fine.

One consideration worth noting was:

Because we have to verify and vote in new members, we need a full-refund policy–Square refunds the full purchase amount if processed within 120 days of the payment date.

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