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Moving to Direct Payments

Direct PaymentsOur new Direct Payments system has become the preferred method for race payments.  It gets the money into your bank account quicker, is more automated, and it is the direction the credit card industry is guiding the online registration business.

See RunSignUp Payment Details for full instructions on how to set this up for your race or club.

The Credit Card Payment Process
The credit card system is a huge network tying together merchants and buyers via their banks. Here is a simple explanation with some nice diagrams to explain the process in detail. For online registration, what has traditionally happened is that a company like RunSignUp has collected the money thru the credit card system – with money being taken out of a runner’s credit card and put into RunSignUp’s bank account about 2 business days later. RunSignUp then makes either direct deposits or writes checks to make payments to races.

The problem with this from a race standpoint is the money is getting delayed. The problem with this from the credit card network’s viewpoint is that the money is not being transferred directly to the party who is putting on the race. While we have not had issues in our business of fraud (knock on wood), there is potential for money laundering and tax evasion. Hence the credit card network and banks want to promote a more direct method for payments – hence Direct Payments.

In this case, we are using a service from Braintree, called Marketplace. The service makes each race a “sub-merchant”. It collects the minimum information required to be able to put the money into your designated bank account as well as do the required background checks required by the credit card networks. Note that RunSignUp does NOT store any of this information – it is all held securely by Braintree and the credit card network.

How to SignUp for Direct Payments
Direct Payment SetupYou can sign up for Direct Payments in the Payment Details section of the wizard or from the Financial tab and Payment Setup sub-tab.

Simply select the Direct Payment Option and the form below will ask for a number of items of information. If you do not have all of the information handy, you can set up for Manual Payments and change to Direct Payments at any time.

Multiple Races?
If you have multiple races, you can quickly copy over the payment information from one race to the other with this simple button. We provide nice reports to segment the payments from each race so you can manage and reconcile all of your payments.  We have race management companies that have nearly a hundred races using this methodology. See this post for more details on this topic.

Bank Account InformationBank Account Information
Merchant Identifier – This is a unique code that will identify your bank account as a “sub-merchant”.  This requires normal address information as well as the bank account number and routing number (see below for where to find these numbers on your checks). If this is an organization’s account, you can put in the name of the organization as well as the TaxID. Proper 1099 forms will then be created at the end of

Checkthe year for your organization. Note that races collecting over $100,000 per year will likely have to provide further information. The name and address of a person is also required along with the last 4 digits of the social security number. This is the information used by Braintree and the Credit Card Networks to do background checks with databases like OFAC and Mastercard MATCH.

Distribution of FundsPayment Frequency and Flow
You have the ability to have funds distributed on a daily, weekly (each Monday) or monthly (first Monday of each month) basis. We transfer all settled from the credit card network at 5AM Eastern for all transactions that have cleared by approximately 6PM Eastern the previous day. Note that customers switching from Manual to Direct will receive both a check and a direct deposit the week they make a transition since there is normally money due based on the old Manual Payment method. Payments typically take 2 days to process thru the credit card network before you see them in your bank account. So a payment processed on a non-holiday Monday at 5AM for transactions thru 6PM on Sunday will appear in your bank on Wednesday, typically.

You will be able to see reports in the Financial Tab on your race dashboard that will show each transaction that makes up each payment as well as a summary by race fees, donations, store purchases, etc. Note that there may be small variances of when a transaction is completed and when it shows in the payment.  This is due to delays in the credit card network for approval and transfers of funds. For example, you may see an American Express charge that occurred at 11:55PM that is not included in that day’s payments (it will be included the following day). American Express has a particularly long delay, but this can happen with VISA, Mastercard or Discover charges as well.

EMail Confirmations
You can send EMail confirmations to yourself and others with information on the payments that have been made.  Set this in the Social -> Notifications section.

Please feel free to send questions to finance@runsignup.com.

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