Sports registration processing fees

Having an online sports registration system for your youth sports organization website is a must today. The benefits are numerous including a huge time saving for your members, volunteers, no more paper work,  improved reporting, instant payment, a youth sport website that is easier and more convenient for your users. As with most benefits there is a cost for online sports registrations.  The biggest cost is how league website vendors mark up credit card transaction rates for Sports Registration fees.  

Reading this page will help explain the cost and terms of credit card rates when conducting online sports registrations. Understanding these terms and fees could save your youth sports organization hundreds or thousands of dollars!

Interchange Rates* are the fees that Visa and MasterCard charge for processing an online registration. There are a variety of different Interchange Fees based on how the transaction is sent. The type of online transactions used for youth sports online registrations is called card-not-present transactions or CNP since the youth sport organization does not see the card.

Each of your transactions will be classified as either qualifiedmid-qualified, or non-qualified. These three classifications are based on Visa/MasterCard regulations. Transactions that do not satisfy all qualified transaction conditions, as established by Visa and MasterCard, are called downgrades and are assessed either a mid-qualified or a non-qualified surcharge. Today mid-qualified and non-qualified transactions represents close to 70% of all online sport registrations.   

The category of credit card used in a transaction is one factor that determines how a transaction is classified. For example, corporate, reward, or airline mileage cards are non-qualified transactions. Therefore, a transaction done with a Visa Miles or business card might cost the organization as much as 2.00% more in surcharges when categorized as non-qualified.

It is recommended that you ask your sports online registration vendor if they charge extra for mid-qualified or non-qualified transactions, most do charge extra.  ClubSetup does not charge an extra surcharge for mid-qualified or non-qualified transactions.  

Merchant Service Providers (MSP) handle the signing up of Youth Sport website vendors that are called Independent  Sales Organizations (ISO).   The MSPs perform the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions and do nightly batch deposits into the merchant account. MSPs make money by charging fees above the stated interchange rates.   These fees range from as low as 15 basis points to high of 200 basis points.   The youth sport website vendors/ISOs  that partner with MSP's in turn sign up and manage youth sport organizations merchant accounts in exchange for a higher fee or a percentage of the youth sports online registration fee.  

Most youth ISO sport website vendors charge inflated transaction rates for league online registrations on top of other website setup fees that they charged.  The burden usually falls on your users that have to pay these inflated fees.  These vendors are charging anywhere between 3.5% - 6.5% plus .30c a transaction.  

ClubSetup is the only ISO youth sport online registration vendor that does NOT mark up the fees from the MSP.  The ClubSetup fee is the same as the low negotiated MSP fee of  .15 basis points over the stated Visa and MasterCard interchange rates* plus .07c per transaction. 

Here is an example of Youth Sport Online Registration Pricing with a real competitor that prides itself as low cost and with ClubSetup on the fees associated using a Visa miles card for an online registration transaction.   The example will show how the fees are distributed to the various parties involved:

  • If we assume an Interchange rate of 1.80% for a Visa Miles Card for Card Not Present plus $0.10 Transaction fee.    The Discount Rate for the competitor and ClubSetup should be pretty close to the same rate which is 1.95% (interchange rate of %1.80 plus 15 basis points)  + $0.07 Transaction Fee.    The BIG difference is that the competitor will mark up their discount rate an additional 300 basis points to %4.95 and the transaction fee another $0.23 to $0.30.   ClubSetup does NOT mark up the discount rate at all!

  • For a $100 online sports registration charge the amount the competitor and ClubSetup would each pay their Merchant Services Provider will be $1.90 (%1.80 + $0.10 per transaction).  The Merchant Service Provider then would have to pay the competitor $3.00 plus an additional $0.20 per transaction.  ClubSetup does not get paid a cent from the Merchant Service Provider and instead offers a pass through to the youth sports organization.   In addition to marking up the Merchant Service Service Provider credit card rates, the competitor also charges other fee's such as a yearly fee, a fee per online registration, and miscellaneous set up fees.  ClubSetup only fee is $4.00 per online registration.  When you compare all of the fees that Youth Sport Website vendors charge you will clearly see that ClubSetup offers the best value for feature packed platform.  


*VISA Interchange Rates

* Exchange Interchange Rates

*Most Commonly Used Interchange Rates