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Vanco Payment Solutions review

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Several payment options for education and faith-based organizations, but pricing information can be spotty.

Vanco is a merchant services provider that helps education, faith-based and other nonprofit organizations accept payments online and via credit card. It’s one of few payment processing companies that specifically serves religious and other nonprofit organizations — so if you run a more traditional business, you’re not likely to be a good fit.

Details

SolutionsIn-store, Mobile, E-commerce
ProductsPayment processing
Monthly fees start at$29/month
Processing fees start at$0.38 plus 2.65% per transaction
Contract required?No
Processing time2-4 business days
High-risk merchants accepted?No

Vanco’s services

Vanco offers several ways to help your company, cause or church receive donations and payments.
  • Merchant accounts. Vanco holds credit card payments on your behalf until you have them transferred to your organization’s checking account.
  • Mobile and online payment processing. Use Vanco to accept payments online through your organization’s website or through the app.
  • Text payments. If your organization accepts donations, use Vanco to accept payments via text.
  • Kiosks. Its kiosks accept donations and other payments and prints or emails receipts for tax deduction purposes.
  • Card readers. Accept transactions anywhere from your phone with Vanco’s Swipe card reader.
  • Education-specific software. Simplify your school’s processes with registration management, event ticketing and booking, and music-program management.

Features

  • Live chat
  • 24/7 support
  • Dedicated giving consultants for faith-based organizations
  • Funding within two to four business days

What hardware is available?

With its monthly fee, Vanco offers Kiosks for $29 a month. Pay a one-time fee for its card readers.

Pricing and fees

Vanco’s pricing varies based on the industry you’re in. According to the rep we talked to, schools and educational companies generally pay 2.9% $0.30 per transaction, though that can vary based on your processing needs. To get an exact quote, you’ll need to talk to a Vanco sales rep.

Nonprofits and churches are eligible for lower rates with the Start and Sustain packages. For churches and nonprofits with less than $20,000 in donations monthly, Vanco recommends the Start package. If you process more than $20,000 monthly, you may want to consider the Sustain package. For large operations, Vanco also offers custom packages.

Start package Sustain package
Monthly fee $10 $49
Debit and credit card rate 2.75% + $0.45 per transaction — Amex fee is 3.5% 2.35% + $0.35 per transaction — Amex fee is 3.5%
ACH processing rate 1% + $0.45 per transaction .8% + $0.35 per transaction
Mobile
Online giving
Dedicated launch specialist
24/7 US based support
Data security and compliance
Text $5 per month $5 per month
Card reader One-time hardware cost One-time hardware cost
Kiosk $29 per month + one-time hardware cost $29 per month + one-time hardware cost

Our top pick:

Accept payments in your store, online or on-the-go with clear pricing.

  • 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped credit card
  • 3.5% + $0.10 per keyed-in credit card
  • 0.05% + $0.49 per PIN-based debit

Our top pick: Chase Merchant Services

Accept payments in your store, online or on-the-go with clear pricing.

  • Flat rates for credit and debit cards
  • No setup or cancellation fees
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Next-business-day funding with a linked Chase business checking account

How do I open an account with Vanco?

To get set up with Vanco, visit its website and submit an inquiry to the sales department. A representative will follow up to discuss your individual needs and pricing structure. Generally the steps to apply include:

  1. Submit an online inquiry
  2. Speak directly with a Vanco rep
  3. Choose your membership level and equipment
  4. Set up equipment and start accepting payments

When we reached out to Vanco to confirm their features and pricing, we got a confirmation email right away. We also received a follow-up the next day.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Innovative text payment solution. Set up single or recurring transactions through one local number.
  • Custom plans available. Churches can build its own service tier if you don’t see one that works for you.
  • Online resources. Vanco provides nearly 200 free online guides and resources for faith-based giving and donation receiving.

Cons

  • Niche focus. If you’re not involved with a nonprofit or faith-based organization, you may not find all you need here.
  • No free hardware. You’ll need to foot the bill for any hardware you decide to use.

What other products will I need?

In addition to payment processing, Vanco also offers merchant accounts to hold your receivables until you have them transferred to your organization’s checking account. However, depending on your organization type, you may need to find some other products or services to work in conjunction with Vanco.

  • Checking account. You’ll need a bank account for your organization where Vanco can transfer funds from your credit card transactions.
  • Online shopping cart. If you offer books or other merchandise online, you may need a plug-in for web users to build and place orders through your website.
  • Inventory management system. Vanco offers class management and other software solutions for education organizations, but doesn’t offer inventory management systems for traditional for-profit businesses.

What is Vanco?

Vanco is a merchant services provider that focuses on credit card payment processing for school districts, religious organizations and other nonprofits. While Vanco also serves professional service organizations and other for-profit businesses, it offers the most significant value-adds for nonprofits that may not be eligible to work with other payment processing companies.Vanco was founded in 1998 and is used by more than 40,000 churches, schools and other nonprofit organizations.

Vanco reviews and complaints

Vanco has surprisingly few reviews online, but those that exist are mostly positive. It doesn’t have any reviews with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but holds an A+ rating and has zero complaints, as of October 2020. Connexeo, one of the organizations that merged to form Vanco, also had a relatively positive reputation on its own.

How do I contact Vanco support?

Organizations that want to get more information on Vanco can do so by contacting the company by:

  • Phone: 855-712-8745
  • Email: sales@vancopayments.com
  • Live chat: Faith-based organizations can live chat on Vanco’s website

Compare other payment processors

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Processing time High-risk merchants accepted?
Chase Merchant Services
None
2.6% + 10¢ per swiped credit card
Next day when you deposit into a Chase business checking account
No
Accept, process and deposit customer payments in your store, online or on-the-go.
Fattmerchant
$99/month
$0.08 + interchange per transaction
Next day for qualified businesses
No
Businesses that process more than $10,000 monthly can save with Fattmerchant's interchange+ pricing.
Square
None
2.9% + 10¢
Next day
No
Square is a one-stop shop with both e-commerce and in-person solutions.
Helcim
$20/month
1.92% + $0.08 per transaction
Two business days
No
Conveniently packaged into three service tiers for in-person and online sales.
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Bottom line

Vanco offers payment processing solutions for schools, churches and other nonprofit and other professional organizations. While it offers some innovative services that those donating will likely find convenient, it focuses most of its resources towards religious organizations.

Frequently asked questions

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