KofC Council Site Support

FAQs

Your first stop should be our listing of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Below you will find the answers to the most common questions and directions to complete most tasks on your council website.

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9 FAQs

  • Dues - How do members pay?

    Your council website is capable of collecting dues.  For instructions, please see the other FAQs in this category.

    Once set up, your members simply follow these steps to pay their dues:

    1. Go to your council website.
    2. Click the "Pay Your Dues" link under the "Members" menu.
    3. (Optional)The form prompts members to login.  While this is optional, it will pre-fill some form information.
    4. Fill out the form displayed.
      Note: Members who are logged in will have their name, email, membership number, and telephone number automatically filled in.  Also, the amount will be pre-filled based on their membership type if you have set this up.

    5. After the member clicks the "Proceed to Payment" button the following will happen:
      1. They will be taken to a secure payment page to complete the transaction.
      2. If successful, the member will be shown a confirmation and emailed a receipt.
        • If not successful an error message will be displayed to the member.
      3. A notice will be sent to your Financial Secretary with the details of the payment that looks like this:

        This email has everything your FS needs to enter the payment into the Membership Management System with Supreme.  Note that there is a Payment/Cheque Number near the top which can be used as a unique identifier in the Supreme accounting system.
      4. The Financial Secretary should confirm the member information (name and membership number match) and update the members record.  And of course, he should issue a new membership card.

     

    You have full control of the payments and can process refunds if necessary.  Please see the other FAQs in this category for more information

  • What is Stripe?

    Stripe is one of the best way to accept payments online. They handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world.

    Stripe is responsible for connecting your website with your customers' banks and charging their credit cards.  After the charge has been verified Stripe will forward the funds collected (less any fees) directly to your council's bank account.

    The type of credit cards accepted varies by country, but generally includes Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

    We now also support payments with ApplePay and GooglePay on the secure checkout pages.

  • Is Stripe secure?

    Yes, Stripe meets or exceeds all Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and has been certified and audited as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider.  This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.

    However, the responsibility to protect payment information is shared between Stripe, Grassroots Hosting (as the server/platform provider), and your council.

    Grassroots Hosting has implemented every security requirement and recommendation made by Stripe.  These include things such as:

    • Using only SSL/TLS Encryption to transmit all sensitive data
    • Never storing credit card information on our servers
    • Using Tokenization - A process in which your customer's browser sends sensitive payment information directly to Stripe and your website/our servers never even see the information.

     

    Your council is responsible for the following:

    • Never collect or enter credit card information into the Stripe Dashboard directly.
    • Never collect and enter credit card information into your council website on behalf of another person or member.  Only the person making the payment should do this.
    • You should never have access to, see, or ask for any persons credit card information. - Note the exception is the last four digits of a card and expiry date, which you can use to find transactions in the Stripe Dashboard.

     

    The general idea here is that PCI DSS is only as good as the people who have access to the information.  In the case of Stripe and Grassroots Hosting, the only person who has access to the complete card information is the person making the payment and Stripe.  This means you do not have to worry about where you store paper records with payment information or what to do with emails containing credit card numbers.  All of those sort of things would require additional certification to be PCI DSS compliant.

  • How do we set up Stripe on our Council website?

    Setting Up Stripe is easy and can be completed in only a few simple steps.

    Start by logging into your council dashboard and then:

    1. Click on the "Stripe Payments" item in the main menu.
      Note: You will need some information about yourself and your council before you can open an account.  You should collect this before proceeding. (See below).
    2. Click the blue "Connect with Stripe" button.
    3. You will be taken to a secure page on the Stripe servers, which will ask you to authorize Grassroots Hosting to process payments for your council.
    4. If your council does not yet have a Stripe account, complete the registration form displayed.  If you already have a Stripe account click the "Sign In" link located near the top right of the page.
    5. Click the "Authorize Access to this Account" or the "Connect my Stripe account" button to complete the process.
    6. You will be returned to your council dashboard and should see something like the following with your own unique account id. (Please note this id can only be used by Grassroots Hosting)

    If you are creating a new account, your account will be created with the information provided.  Stripe does complete some identity verification which may take some time.  However, you may begin processing transaction immediately, but the funds will not be paid to your council bank account until after the verification is complete.

    Required Information

    You will need the following information to open a Stripe Account:

    • Council Legal Name - In the US this should match the name on the IRS letter issuing your EIN number.
    • EIN (USA Only) - All councils in the US are required to obtain an EIN number and register it with Supreme.  Please contact the Supreme Advocate for assistance if you do not have an EIN.
    • Tax ID (Canada Only) - Generally, councils in Canada are not able to obtain a business or tax id.  Enter 000000000 (9 zeros).  We have already added an explanation to your application advising Stripe you are an exempt organization.
    • Business Address - Your council's mailing address.
    • Applicant Personal Info: (This info is used for identity verification and fraud prevention)
      • Your Personal Legal Name
      • Date of Birth
      • Last four digits of your SSN (USA), or SIN number (Canada - optional)
      • Additionally, you may be required to provide a photo of a Driver's License or other identification if automated verification can not be completed.
      • Your full address (Canada Only)
    • A contact phone number
    • Your council checking account information: (Find this on the bottom of a check)
      • For USA: Routing and Account Number
      • For Canada: Transit Number, Institution Number, and Account Number

    All of the above information is collected by Stripe in accordance with the laws of the country you operate in.

    After Submission

    You will receive some email(s) from Stripe about your account.  Please complete any tasks they may request.  Please note, for any questions about your Stripe account you should direct them to Stripe, as we only have limited access or ability to make changes.

    Your site is now setup and ready to process transactions.  However, there are a few more things you may want to do.  Please see the other FAQs in the Stripe Payments category for more information.

  • The Stripe Dashboard

    After you create an account for your council with Stripe, you will have access to their Dashboard.  In general, you will only need to access this dashboard to confirm the amount and date of transfers to your council bank account.  However, you can also:

    • Refund Credit Card Charges (Full or Partially)
    • Find transaction details
    • Update your council billing and contact information
    • Add additional users (FS, TR, GK etc) and assign access levels (Read Only or Higher)
    • Request assistance from Stripe
    • Set your receipt options
    • See you next and previous bank transfers
    • See the fees charged on each transaction
    • and more...

    To access the Stripe Dashboard go to https://dashboard.stripe.com and login with the credentials you used to setup the account.

    If you need assistance with the Stripe Dashboard you should check out Stripe's support at support.stripe.com.

    Now that you have accessed your Stripe Dashboard, you should check out the optional Stripe Setup Steps FAQ.

  • Optional Stripe Setup Steps

    If you have followed the steps to setup your Stripe account, you are ready to start excepting payments on your council site.  However, there are a few additional steps you may wish to complete.

    Please note: Stripe is constantly updating their Dashboard.  As such the steps below may not be current and should be used as a guide.

    First, login to the Stripe Dashboard.

    Check Your Account Information and Customize Receipts
    1. On the left, click the "Settings" option near the bottom of the menu.
    2. Click "Account Information"
    3. Ensure the information displayed is accurate.
    4. Click the "Settings" item again and then click "Email Receipts.
    5. Turn off the option for "Successful Payments" and turn on the option for "Refunds.  (Note, your website already sends receipts for all successful payments, but you can select the option here to send a second if you wish.)
    6. Click Save.
    7. Click "Settings" again and then click "Branding"
    8. Click the box below the "Icon" text and add a logo - we recommend the emblem displayed below. (Right Click the Emblem and Select Save Image/Save Photo or something similar to save it your computer, then select it in the Stripe Dashboard).
    9. Enter "313C7D" into the "Accent Color" box to match the KofC blue.
    10. Click "Save".
    Authorize Other Users to Access the Account
    1. Also from the "Settings" area of the Stripe Dashboard click "Team Members".
    2. You can grant other Knights access to the council Stripe account.  We recommend giving your current Financial Secretary "Administrator" or "Support Specialist" access and your Treasurer "View only" access.  This will allow your FS to initiate refunds and view all transaction information, while your TR will only be able to view information for reconciliation purposes.  You may also want to add your Grand Knight.
    3. Click "+ New user" and complete the form.
    4. The new user will be sent an email inviting them create a Stripe account to access your council account.  All they need to provide is their name and a password.  They will then be able to access your council account.
    Set Pay Out Schedule

    Stripe will set your default payout schedule based on a number of variables.  If you are in Canada, you will likely be on a 7 day rolling schedule, and if you are in the USA you will likely be on a 2 day rolling schedule.  However, many councils find it easier to have payouts sent on a fixed date, such as every Tuesday.  To change your payout schedule:

    1. Login to the Stripe Dashboard.
    2. Click "Settings" on the left menu.
    3. Click "Bank Accounts and Scheduling" near the top-middle of the screen.
    4. You will see a screen with your active bank accounts and your Payout schedule.
    5. Select the "Automatic" option and set it every "week" on "Tuesday".

    Stripe will now batch together all cleared payments received in the previous week and deposit them on Tuesday.  Please note, your first deposit may be delayed as long as 10 days while Stripe confirms account details.  For more information on the payout schedules and fund availability please contact Stripe.  If you goto the "Balance" item on the lefthand menu you will be able to see the details of future payouts after charges have been completed.  Clicking on a payout will show you which charges are included.  You can also see the total amount charged by Stripe and Grassroots Hosting to process the payments.

    The rest of the features available either require no setup or are not applicable to your council website.

  • Refunding Charges

    To refund a payment you must do so directly from the Stripe Dashboard.  You can not process a refund from within the Events system or the Forms/Dues system.

    Start by logging into the Stripe Dashboard.

    You will need to find the original payment.  You can do so by:

    • Using the search bar at the top of the Stripe Dashboard, or by
    • Clicking "Payments" on the lefthand menu and scroll through the listing.

    When using the search bar you enter anything that might be connected to the transaction such as:

    • Membership Number (Dues Payments)
    • Name
    • Last four digits of the credit card (never ask for anything other than the last four!!)
    • Amount (may have a large number of results)
    • Transaction Id
      • Dues - Find the dues payment in the "Forms" section of your council dashboard.  The entry ID is sent to stripe, and the stripe transaction id is displayed at the bottom of screen.
      • Events - Go to Events->Bookings, and find the booking.  You will see the stripe transaction id displayed.

     

    After you have found the original payment click on the payment and check all the details including who, when, and what to make sure you are refunding the correct payment.  Refunds cannot be undone!

    After you are sure you have the correct payment, click the "Refund" button near the top of the screen.

    Enter the amount of the refund, select the reason, and enter any comments.  Then click the "Refund" button.

    Your refund is now complete.  The payor will be emailed a notification of the refund.  If this creates a negative balance in your Stripe account, they will debit your council bank account to cover it.

  • What fees does Stripe Charge?

    Stripe is a payment processing company, and they charge fees for each transaction processed on their network.  Their fees are very competitive and easy to understand.

    Please visit www.stripe.com to verify their current fee structure.

    As of December 2020, their fees were:

    • $0.30 flat fee for every charge, and
    • 2.9% of the charge amount

    There are no monthly fees or fees for transferring funds into your bank account.  However, there are fees for payments charged to credit cards issued by banks outside of your council's home country.

    Fees are not returned if you refund a charge.

  • Online Dues Payments

    This FAQ assumes you have already completed the instructions found in the other Stripe FAQ's to setup your Stripe Account.

    Notice: Your payment forms will not appear on your site until you have completed the "Stripe Payments" setup.  Stripe is the payments provider we use to charge your members' credit cards.  Until you setup your stripe account, your dues payment page will display a message directing members to your Financial Secretary instead.

    To activate online dues payments, start by logging into your council dashboard and then:

    1. Move your Mouse over the "Council Info" button in the main menu, then Click on the "Dues and Emails" item.
    2. Click on the "Dues" tab at the top of the page, if needed.
    3. From here you can setup and configure the various options for the Dues Payment Page.
    4. Start by changing the toggle switch at the top to Active.
    5. You can now move through the form and setup the remainder of the options.

    There are several different options and each are described below.

    Dues Amount

    You can enter your standard and honorary annual dues.  If a member is logged in, these amounts will be pre-filled for them in the form.  However, they can change it to match their membership dues notice.

    Custom Message

    You can write and prepare your own custom message which will be displayed at the top of the dues payment page, just below the main title. This option has a full featured text box that allows you to format your message similar to a Word document.

    Credit Card Surcharge

    Your council can choose to add a surcharge to any dues payments collected to offset the payment processing fees.  You have the following four options:

    • No Surcharge
    • Fixed amount - You set an exact amount to be applied to every transaction
    • Percentage - You set a percentage which will be calculated and added to every transaction
    • Automatic Calculation - Your website will calculate that amount of the surcharge required to offset the payment fees.  Due to the math involved this may be out by one or two cents.  For example, if a $35 dues payment is made, the total charge would be $36.39, which, after fees, would net your council $35.

    Extra/Additional Fees

    You can collect additional fees at the same time as membership dues. You could use this to collect optional donations, initiation fees, name tag fees, or other fees.
    There are two types of fees you can collect:

    1. User Entered Amount – The user is asked how much they would like to contribute to this fee. This is ideal for a donation field. You can only have one user entered amount.
    2. Items – These appear as checkboxes that users can click to add to their payment. There is a limit of 5 items you can set.

    Regardless of which, or both, you use, you can set the “label” which will be displayed on the dues payment form.

    Once you are done, don't forget to click the orange "Update" button!