Merchant Account FAQ


Q: Who is CardConnect (CloverConnect)?

CardConnect is a rapidly growing payments technology company founded in 2006. They offer a suite of solutions focused on the ever-evolving needs of merchants accepting credit and debit transactions. CardConnect is our partner of choice for our processing needs.

CardConnect’s proprietary gateway and patented tokenization make payments simple, integrated and secure, therefore, a main reason why we have chosen them as our processing partner. In additional to many strategic partnerships, CardConnect has grown steady, all while adding acquisitions, therefore allowing them to process billions of transactions each year.

Please visit the CardConnect website for additional information.

Q: Will I have any interaction with CardConnect directly?

Possibly. It is important to pay attention to the registration email from ONLY if you have access to the GiveSmart Fundraise and DonorCRM platforms. At this time, those platforms have direct access to the CardConnect platform to view transactions and funding reports to aid in reconciliation (versus being integrated in the Events platform), submit tickets for any transaction research and update information on your merchant account.

Please disregard the PCI Compliance email from Subject may include “Your PCI compliance status requires attention.” The subject of the message may state “according to our records, your annual PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire, or SAQ, has been started but is incomplete.” Please do not complete the questionnaire. Our customers are compliant under the GiveSmart PCI compliance umbrella. If you do see this email, please disregard it.  

Special Note: Cardpointe is just the name for the merchant account administrators dashboard.

Prior to submitting the merchant application

Q: Why is it important to take time to complete the merchant application?

Any errors in submissions will result in a delay in the application boarding process. If inaccurate information is provided on the application, then there will be a manual review of the application that can take at least 10 or more business days to resolve, If inaccurate information upon submissions, then a member from the GiveSmart team will reach out to organization to troubleshoot. The merchant application will be pended at that time.

Q: Who should fill out the merchant application, especially if I work for a third-party company hired by the charity?

If your company/organization prefers to establish the merchant account and receive event proceeds directly, you should fill out the application. If not, the charity will need to fill out the application. CardConnect requires a match between tax id, organization name & name on the bank account.

Important: The application needs to go directly to the financial signor to complete. If you are not the correct signor, then please go to the agreement and select “Share with others”. You will be able to share the agreement directly with the signor from there.

Q: Are there any special restrictions if we submit this merchant application as a for profit?

At this time only customers registered as a non-profit are able to accept donations through a CardConnect merchant account. If this does occur on a for-profit campaign site then there is the chance that CardConnect’s Risk team may review and/or cancel that transaction and can lead to account cancellation.

Q: We do not have checks available for our bank account. Can I use a deposit slip in lieu of a voided check?

Unfortunately, the only acceptable documents for proof of account are:
  • Voided check
  • Bank letter on bank letterhead (dated within the past 90 days)

Q: My current processor did not require us providing our personal information on the application, why does this one? 

There are certain merchant providers like Stripe or Square that do not provide that information on the application, because they underwrite their accounts AFTER boarding. So, eventually, they do ask for this information just not up front. For our merchant provider, CardConnect, their sponsor bank Wells Fargo requires them to collect the KYC information to abide by the BSA/AML CIP regulations for collecting on all signers at the time of signing the application.

Q: What if I do not see my title as an option from the ‘Title’ dropdown?

We have worked with CardConnect for the main titles that have authority to create a merchant account, with little to no issues with account set up. Therefore, if you do not see you title then we typically recommend ‘Partner’ as the option. This typically happens with our 501c3 Directors.

Q: Why is my Social Security Number required?

The SSN requirement is part of the Know Your Customer policy (Patriot Act/Anti-Money Laundering Act). This policy ensures that monies are not being raised for nefarious reasons, therefore, certain information is required to protect all parties involved (organization, processing vendor and GiveSmart). This is a federal requirement that we need to follow in order to remain PCI compliant, as well as, protecting your organization from someone creating processing accounts fraudulently under the organization or signers name. This information is required by our Merchant Provider sponsor bank, Wells Fargo, to abide by the BSA/AML CIP regulations for collecting on all signers.

At this time, having the SSN requirement for creating a merchant account has been demonstrated to be an effective means of discouraging criminal use of these merchant accounts and remains one of the easiest ways for financial institutions to comply with US government regulations regarding the verification of customer identity and fraud prevention.

For additional information on this requirement, please visit the FFIEC website.

Special Note: Providing the required personal information on the application will not make the signer personally liable for the account. Once you submit your merchant account application, the information you provide will be checked against the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and similar lists maintained by the U.S. government. This will not result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, nor will it affect your credit score. The SSN requirement is used for verification purposes and the information is fully encrypted upon submission.
Q: What address should I list on the merchant application if we only have a PO Box, no brick and mortar?

CardConnect is required, per card brand regulations and the Know Your Customer policy, to have a physical location on each application. In lieu of a PO Box, a board member or your executive director’s home address can be used. Additional documentation may be required.

Q: Are there any good tips to ensure we sign the merchant application successfully?

Definitely! Below are some recommended tips while filling out the merchant application.

Tips & Recommendation

Tax ID

Enter your organization’s Tax ID (TIN). If your organization is a 501(c)3, you may be required to provide your 501(c)3 Determination Letter that you received from the IRS or a copy of Form 1023 as proof of in-process tax-exempt status.

Business Legal Name

Legal Name and Tax ID must match in order to prevent issues with IRS Backup Withholding.

If this occurs please note:

  • A percentage of the organization's sales will be withheld by the IRS until corrected (usually 24-40%). To resolve the organization will be mailed a notification letter. In the letter, it will provide the documentation required. It is typically a W9, 147C, or 501c3 document to correct. This document has to be sent to CardConnect.
  • Once the documents are processed your organization will see the percentage being withheld stop.
  • The funds that were then withheld are not released until they file that year impacts taxes (e.g. 2022 funding would reflect when they complete their taxes in 2023)
Commonly Known As

This is your organization's DBA “Doing Business As” name, if different from the Legal Name.

Special Note: This name will appear on donor credit card statements, in addition to your campaign homepage, public page footers, and automated receipts sent to guests and donors. It’s important that the DBA is easily recognizable by your donors to prevent chargebacks.

Voided Check/Bank Verification Letter

If uploading a Voided Check, it must include all of the following:
  • The organization’s legal or DBA name
  • Account and Routing numbers clearly visible
  • If uploading a Bank Letter, it must include all of the following:
  • Bank letterhead
  • Business name
  • Routing and account number
  • Contact info for the bank rep
  • Signed and dated by the bank rep within the last 90 days

Special Note: You will not be able to submit the application without uploading one of the above documents. If you run into any errors attaching a voided check or bank verification letter, then recommended troubleshooting steps are to download a copy of the document to your desktop, take a screenshot and upload that version.

Financial Signer Personal Information

The following personal information is required per the Know Your Customer policy.
  • Full Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Residence Address
  • Social Security Number
    • The SSN is required on the application, in adherence to federal banking and anti-fraud laws such as the Patriot Act, which requires CardConnect to strictly verify the identity of signers of new merchant accounts. This verification also protects merchants if someone attempts to fraudulently create processing accounts in their name. Please double-check to make sure you've entered your SSN correctly, as inaccuracies here will likely cause delays with account approval.

Once the application has been submitted

Q: How long will my application take to get approved and boarded to the platform?

Applications will take at least 5 business days to be approved. That said, please review all aspects of the application for accuracy in order to prevent any delays with account approval.

Q: Why would a fraud alert verification call occur on my merchant application and why would CardConnect need to call me to verify information?

A fraud alert verification call will occur if the signer of the merchant application places a phone number on their Experian credit report where they want to be contacted if a company is verifying any personal information. This number could be a home, mobile or work number.

If a verification is needed, then CardConnect will call the signer of the account directly with the number on their Experian report (can be updated at anytime). If CardConnect is unable to speak with the signer, then they will leave a message with their call back number. Noting that due to security and compliance reasons, CardConnect agents are not permitted to share their direct contact information with anyone but the signer. However, they can schedule another time to call if that would be preferred. If that is needed then please update your GiveSmart representative.

Special Note: With calling the number on the Experian report, it is a way to assure that they are speaking to the signer and not calling a requested number that could belong to someone possibly trying to commit fraud.

Q: Why is it important to provide any required documentation IF requested by GiveSmart after we have submitted the merchant application?

If additional documentation is required to fulfil the Know Your Customer (KYC) policy then GiveSmart will reach out to the organization. If the request is not fulfilled within 30 days, then the original application will be declined. This will require GiveSmart having to reopen the merchant application to be resubmitted by your organization. So expect a delay.


Q: How does CardConnect handle refunds and chargebacks if we have a deposit-only account?

If you have an account type that does not allow debits (often applicable to universities, hospitals, and government agencies), please contact your Community Brands representative to discuss alternative payment processing solutions.

Q: What is an ACH ID and is it required?

Per the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) a merchant must add our ACH ID to the bank for which they are receiving credits and debits. (Disclaimer: This may not be required by the bank account you are placing on file, however, it is always best to check with your bank representative).

Organizations typically have numerous vendors running transactions through the same account, a block is often placed on the account to allow the organization to regulate which vendors are approved to process electronic debits. Therefore, it is essential to add prior to processing to ensure a block does not occur. In order to add our ACH the process is simple, all you will need to do is phone or email your bank and request to add ACH ID G592126793 to the bank account as an ACH Originator.

Should a block be detected once funds are processed, then it will result in funds being held, as well as, a bank letter/email being required stating that the ACH ID has been added to then release the funds in a lump sum.

Q: How and when are funds deposited into our account?

Transactions are batched at 8:50 PM CST each business day and deposited into your account within 5 business days of the batch date. i.e. If your event takes place on a Saturday, you can expect a deposit by the following Friday.

For GiveSmart Events, the credit card processing fee will be netted from your total proceeds prior to any deposit being made. i.e. If you have a processing fee of 3.5% and your event raised $500,000, the total amount deposited would be $500,000 - $17,500 (3.5% of $500,000) = $482,500. For GiveSmart Fundraise and DonorCRM there will be a gross deposit, with the fees debited at the end of the month.

Chargebacks and refunds are processed as they arise. i.e. If your event takes place on a Saturday, you can expect a deposit by the following Friday. If you have a processing fee of 3.5% and someone requests a $1,000 refund on Tuesday the following week, upon issuing the refund the guest will receive the full amount and you will see a debit of $1,000.

Q: When funds are deposited into our account, what description should I be looking for?

The description for all deposits/withdrawals will read: MERCHANT BANKCD. This description will also include your organizations Merchant ID. Your Merchant ID can be found within the Global Settings of a Campaign.

Q: Are we able to use this merchant account to process transactions outside of Community Brands?

Unfortunately, not at this time. Your merchant account is a sub-account of Community Brands, which allows us to absorb any monthly fees you would ordinarily pay.

Q: How do I obtain a report that details the transactions included in each deposit/batch?

The event site dashboard is where you can find all of your reporting from your event. The report titled “Batch Report” will provide details of the transactions included in each batch deposited into your account. You can populate these details by selecting the date of the batch you’re looking for.

Q: Do we have to re-submit bank information for each new event/campaign in the future?

No, once you have established a merchant account, new events/campaigns created under your organization will automatically be linked to that account.

The only time you will need to submit additional information is if your account information changed since your initial application was submitted. If changes have been made to your banking information, legal name/tax id change, dba name change or signer/account owner change, then please contact our Support team, who will be happy to assist you. All change forms for the Events platform are located in your Org Hub within the Account tab. Our customers on the Fundraise and DonorCRM can enter those change tickets directly through the CardConnect platform.

Risk and Compliance

Q: Does GiveSmart have any security and/or compliance documents to ensure our organization is doing proper vendor due diligence?

Yes we do! You are able to view our security statement here. This document provides details about our security practices. If you need any additional compliance documents then please reach out to your GiveSmart representative.

Q: Is there a Risk or Fraud team that is able to view my account and work to prevent any fraudulent activity?

Yes, CardConnect has a dedicated Risk team that focuses on the activity of the merchant accounts on our platform to protect the organizations from fraudulent activity.

This team will be responsible to identify any carding attacks. If that occurs, then a member from the GiveSmart team will reach out to the merchant account owner to provide this update with any troubleshooting steps needed to resolve it. This team will also view periods of unexpected surges in processing. When this occurs there are occasions where the fees may be debited prior to the deposit being made (Events platform) due to the funding setup. 

Therefore, we recommend our customers to email our Support team to inform them of a surge after a long period of no activity, this way they are able escalate to CardConnect to prevent any risk delays and/or documentation requests (transaction details, monthly bank statements, etc).

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to your GiveSmart representative!