Merchant Accounts

What is a Merchant Account

All credit card transactions are processed through a merchant account.  This is an account with the bank that processes payments and moves the money from the credit card holder (the purchaser) to the seller (you, the club.)  Your organization must enter into an agreement with the merchant account provider to process funds on your behalf, and merchant account providers perform due diligence on clubs to ensure they can honour the sales they are making.  Zone4 offers three levels of processing depending on your club’s size and needs.  The following table compares the main differences in the 3 levels.

The first option, using Zone4’s merchant accounts to process transactions, is the easiest to set up, but requires you to contact us to set up.

You can save some money by setting up a Stripe account. You can do this without contacting us, but Stripe requires you to set up an account in addition to your Zone4 account and provide a picture of government ID as verification.

You can save even more money with a Helcim account, but the administrative overhead of handling your own merchant account is very large. We only recommend this to clubs with full time staff that are processing a large transaction volume.

Processing Fees

Zone4 Stripe Helcim
Credit Card Fee 3% 2.9% 2.13%
Per Transaction Fee $1 $0.30 $0.25
Per Person Fee (for Races – covers timing application usage) $2.00 $2.00 $2.00
Per Person Fee (other registrations) $1.50 $1.50 $1.50
Monthly Cost $0 $0 $35
Onboarding Timeline Instant *¹ Instant *² 1 Week
Merchant Account Holder Zone4 Your club Your club
Name Appearing on Credit Card Statement Zone4 Your club name Your club name
Custom Branding at the top of Registration Pages No No 300x928px image
Credit Card Refunds No Yes Yes
Add charges to credit cards No Yes Yes
Option to allow club to pay processing fee Yes No Yes
Charge registrants a custom processing fee No No Yes
Payout Schedule Weekly *³ Weekly Daily
Subscription Payments No No Yes*5
Annual transaction volume recommended <$100,000 <$100,000 >$30,000
Available in: CAN CAN/USA*4 CAN/USA
  1. * Zone4 interviews all new clubs upon club application to determine the best processing option and suitability for the Zone4 processing option.
  2. * Stripe onboards applicants instantly but may require additional verification after their automated system has evaluated your application details.
  3. * Zone4 remits funds every Thursday for all the transactions collected the previous week Monday to Sunday.  Clubs can set a minimum remittance threshold if they don’t want to receive deposits for small amounts (to reduce bank fees.)
  4. * Stripe is available in 25 countries and growing.  See here for current complete list:
  5. Helcim offers subscription payments as part of their platform.  This is outside the management of Zone4 but is useful for some re-occuring pricing plans required by some organizations.

Signing Up

Your club may already have a merchant account for offline (card present) sales. An offline account is not usually able to accept payments online, and credit card companies charge higher rates for online transactions. In order to accept online payments through Zone4, you need an online merchant account with either Zone4, Stripe, or Helcim.

Updated on 2020-11-09

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