First: What exactly is a "payment processor" and why do I need one?

Payment processors are the nice folks that make it possible for you to accept online payment for donations, fees and dues. Your payment processor is the avenue through which credit card information is accepted and processed, and funds are transferred to your bank account.

There are a number of payment processors that are integrated with CiviCRM--each having its own advantages, disadvantages and fee structure. You'll have to determine which processor is best for you.

Things to think about: Do you require recurring donations? Only PayPal's recurring donations functionality is supported by CiviCRM. Do you want contributors to remain on your website for a seamless experience? If so, you'll need an SSL certificate to go along with your merchant account.

For a full list of supported payment processors see: CiviCRM Payment Processors

Second: I have my payment processor, now what do I do?

Once you have determined which payment processor to work with and set up an account with them, you will need to configure CiviCRM to recognize that account.

  1. Login to your site
  2. On the Administration Menu at the top of your page, navigate AdministerConfigureGlobal SettingsPayment Processors
  3. Click the New Payment Processor button
  4. Select you payment processor from the dropdown
  5. Each payment processor requires information for both live transactions and test transactions. Enter the appropriate information for your payment processor
  6. Click the Save button

GingerFeet supports PayPal Website Payments Standard and Authorize.net.