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Currently, we submit our certification application payments to certifiers, vice chairs, and the registrar via "Send Money to Friends" on PayPal. Wouldn't it be convenient to submit these payments on along with our applications? maintains an online store. Is there some way we could link to this store to make our payments, and for USATF to arrange for these payments to be transferred electronically (ACH) to certifiers, vice chairs and the registrar?

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Yes -  USATF pays a fee to a merchant processor for credit card processing that it passes on to the purchaser. I would guess that this fee is in the neighborhood of 2%. On a $30.00 fee paid by a measurer, this is 30¢. 

I agree, Paypal does a fine job. But, we are incandescently using it for business purposes while ducking its fee by using the "Send Money to Friends" option. Doesn't this put us in a "grey area" with Paypal? Is this an ethical practice?

I for one would be happy to pay a credit card processing fee to be able to have the convenience of paying during the submission session, without having to log in to a separate website. It would be nice to have our system store my payment method(s) and allow me to check a radio button at the end of a certification application to make the payment(s), just as we do when we register online for a race. Easy-peezy.

Last edited by Race Resources LLC

The fee paypal charges is about $1.20 for a $30 business transaction (4%). I don't know what credit cards charge but I'm sure it's more than 2%. Some cards give the buyer 2% cash back on some purchases, so you can be sure they're charging more than that. Also, services often have a transaction fee plus percentage fee structure, so those $2 and $3 transactions might have much higher fees, percentagewise.

There are many options now for transferring money for free, so PayPal knows they have to provide this service in order to remain relevant. Venmo (which oddly enough is owned by PayPal) doesn't even offer the option to pay a fee.

PayPal makes it explicit on their website what you get for the fee you pay if you choose to do that.

Obviously something we don't have a need for. Transferring for free or transferring with a fee are two different products they offer at two different costs.

So, we are well within our rights to use the "Send Money to Friends" Option, Mark?

The fee USATF pays may well be more than 2%. but it shouldn't be difficult to find out. I pay on average 3% for my clients who pay me via credit card, and I am a low-volume customer. Surely USATF has negotiated a better deal that we could in theory piggyback on. For this matter, it seems to me that USATF could pay the 30 or 40 or 50¢ if asked. The annual total of all these fees can't amount to much for the quantity of transactions we process. 

I'll bet that USATF pays little more than 2% unless they have failed to negotiate with merchant processors.

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