#5: Configuring Member Assembler Checkout

Once your members have selected all of their share options, they will need to check out in some way. This article will cover the following payment related topics:

  Checkout Options
  Down Payment Terms
  Checkout Confirmation Email
  Coupons, Charges & Discounts

To configure your Checkout options, log in to the Control Panel and navigate to:

Member Assembler > Configure > Checkout

This will take you to the "Checkout Settings" page. See below:

Figure 1. Checkout Settings Page

Checkout Options There are a number of ways to offer your customers a safe and secure checkout to complete their membership sign-up. Each option is briefly described below:

With this option no money changes hands online. After customers check out, an email invoice is sent to them requesting payment. You can then collect payments through whatever means you currently accept, such as by check or money order. There is an area to enter in your Invoice-Only Instructions separate from your checkout email to make sure only the relevant customers see it.

PayPal is a widely used credit card and payment processing company. Your customers can use PayPal's payment services at checkout to use credit card, pay directly from a bank account, or sign up with PayPal and transfer funds from their account. To offer this option, you must create a PayPal account and integrate PayPal into your site. There are fees associated with this service.
(Note: Your customers will not be required to sign up with PayPal or set up a PayPal account for them to use their credit card processing services on your website.)

Extra Help:
• If you would like to choose PayPal as a checkout option for your customers, you must visit www.paypal.com to set up an account. You can read the article "Integrating PayPal into Member Assembler" in the Member Assembler section of the Knowledge Base to help you through the process of setting up a PayPal account and integrating PayPal into your website. If you would like some help getting set up, PayPal has provided us with a representative who is familiar with Small Farm Central and will work with you over the phone:

Curtis Keierleber
Office 402.935.2131
Fax 877.605.6881
Hours 9-6 CST (M-F)

Member Assembler Payment / Authorize.Net
Another option for online payment are the services of Authorize.Net. Authorize.Net is the most widely-used payment gateway provider on the Internet. Like PayPal, your customers will be able use credit card through the Authorize.Net system or pay directly from a bank account with the eCheck system. However, unlike PayPal, Authorize.Net is only a payment gateway. You will need another company, a Merchant Account provider, to process the transactions that go through the system and transfer money from your customers' credit card banks to yours. This could be your bank if you already have credit card processing capability for your farm or Small Farm Central can help you set up a Merchant Account.

An added feature of Authorize.Net is the ability for your customers to choose Automated Scheduled Payments. This payment plan eliminates the hassle of hounding members to pay their subscription balances. Through Authorize.Net, the customer's credit card information is stored securely and then automatically charged on future dates that the customer agrees to.

Extra Help:
• Read the "Authorize.Net vs. PayPal" article in the Member Assembler section of the Knowledge Base to help you decide which online payment service is right for you.

• To set up your Merchant Account, call the Small Farm Central customer support line at 412-567-3864. Small Farm Central uses Total Merchant Services to set up Merchant Accounts. The Merchant Account application process takes less than an hour and Small Farm Central's support staff will help you through this setup over the phone. Read more about Merchant Accounts in this WebGeek.com article and the article "Credit Card Options with Total Merchant Services" article in the Member Assembler section of the Knowledge Base.

• If you already have a Merchant Account, get set up with Authorize.Net by reading the "Setting up Automated Payments" article in the Member Assembler section of the Knowledge Base.

Dwolla is a new kind of online payment system that securely works with a customer's bank or credit union account. Paying through Dwolla will save your farm in credit card/eCheck processing fees while giving your customers the convenience to pay online. Dwolla's system is to only charge 25 cents per transaction. The downside is unlike a credit card payment, there is a delay to when the money is actually transferred. If all is set with a member's payment info, the Dwolla payment should clear to your account 5 days after they sign up. Because Small Farm Central needs to wrap up that member's sign-up at the time it happens, your admin will appear as if the payment is successful but will then be automatically removed if the payment does not clear 5 days later. So that will just be something to keep in mind before delivering to someone. For more information on setting up Dwolla, go here.

Choose your checkout payment option on the Checkout Settings page. You can select one option or a combination of options by using the pull down menu next to "Payment Option."

Down Payment Terms
On the checkout screen, a total is shown to the new member based on the options they selected on the “Member Types” screen. The checkout screen includes a programmable down payment output. There are three down payment options:
      • No Down Payment. Full fee due at checkout.
      • Variable Amount or Percentage Down Payment (25%, for example)
      • Constant Amount Down Payment ($250, for example)

Choose the option that makes sense for your membership program. If you choose percentage or constant amount, enter the amount in the text boxes below the down payment type selection. Remember to use numbers only; no dollar or percentage signs. Therefore 10 = 10% and 250 = $250.00.

Accept Full Payment
It is often desirable for the farm and the customer to accept full payment for the membership program at the time of sign-up. With the “Accept Full Payment” options, you can give your users the choice of either paying the down payment you set above, or paying the full amount. This option only applies when choosing the PayPal checkout option. If you are using the “Invoice Only” option and want your members to have the option of paying in full, explain this in the customized checkout email which we will cover below.

To accept full payment, click the checkbox marked “Check this checkbox to accept full payment.” It may be desirable to give the member a discount if they pay in full at the time of sign up. You can choose the percentage of your discount by typing it in the textbox next to “Full Payment Discount Percentage.” If you do not want to give a discount, but still want to accept full payment, put a 0 in the textbox to represent no discount.

Checkout Confirmation Email
The Checkout Confirmation Email is sent to each user that completes your signup process. It can be customized to include any necessary information to your new member. This email will be sent to the new member no matter what payment method they choose. However, if you are using “Invoice” as one of your checkout options, you should include information of how and when the member should remit payment. Compose your email using the text editor, but remember to leave this coded text within some part of the email:


When the message is sent, that coded text will be replaced with the specific invoice details of the order the user placed.

Under the Checkout Confirmation Email is a small textbox where you can write the confirmation message that will appear on your website after a successful membership sign-up and checkout has been completed. There is also a checkbox to click if you would like to receive an updated count of Member Types and Pickup Locations with your copy of each signup email.

Under the Email Text box there is a separate box for "Invoice Only Instructions." Use this box for text that will be included with the confirmation email only to those members who choose the invoice checkout option. These instructions will also show up on the checkout screen, payment requests, status emails, pay page, and member login.

Coupons, Charges & Discounts

Coupons are not necessary to start your Member Assembler sign up process, but you will likely find them useful at some point in the future. Create coupon codes that users can enter to receive discounts for your membership program. This may be useful for certain organizations that get discounts, advertising discounts, or any other time when you need special pricing for specific members. For example, you may form a partnership with a local business that gives their employees a 5% discount in your farm membership program. To create Coupons, read the Making Member Assembler Coupons article.

Charges & Discounts are another way to give special pricing to your subscribers. For example, offering a discount to returning members will encourage loyalty from your customers, while tacking on a charge for paying with a credit card will help you to defer some of the costs of doing business online. There are a variety of options for using the Charges & Discounts features, so we have prepared some step-by-step "recipes" for you in the Charges & Discounts Cookbook.

Remember: Charges & Discounts will only automatically be applied during the sign-up process. If a member changes or adds to their membership type later on, any desired charges or discounts that you want to add will have to be applied manually. The FAQ article How do I enter in a payment or make adjustments to an invoice? outlines how you can add charges and discounts to a membership invoice.

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