Online payments

Wild Apricot allows you to seamlessly integrate online payments for various transactions on your website – membership dues, event registration, donation, and other invoice payments. Depending on the payment system you use, payments can be made using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account. You can provide for one-time payments or recurring payments. (For information on recording offline payments, see Manual payments.)

Online payments are not available for free plans. For more information, see Functionality by billing plan.

Before you can set up your Wild Apricot site to accept online payments, you need to have an account with one of the payment systems we support, then enter the account details on the Payment settings screen.

Money received from online payments will be automatically deposited to your account according to your payment system's terms and conditions. Wild Apricot does not touch the payment or deduct any fees.

From the Payments and refunds screen, you can track the online payments you receive.

PCI compliance

Wild Apricot is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant. This means that Wild Apricot adheres to the policies and procedures set up by the major credit card companies to keep credit, debit, and cash card transactions secure, and protect cardholders against misuse of their personal information.

SCA Compliance

As of September 14th, 2019, a payment regulation called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is becoming mandatory for organizations based within the European Economic Area (EEA), an area that encompasses the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.  Wild Apricot supports SCA for Stripe, PayPal Express Checkout, and PayPal Payments Standard. 

Payment settings

On the Payment settings screen, you indicate how your organization accepts payments.

You can choose to accept online payments as well as manual payments, or just handle all payments manually. To display the Payment settings screen, click Finances under the Settings menu, then click Payment settings.

If you want your site to accept online payments, you must first set up an account with a supported payment provider. For instructions on setting up an account with Wild Apricot Payments, our payment system powered by AffiniPay, click here.

To enable online payments using a payment system other than Wild Apricot Payments, scroll down to the bottom of the Wild Apricot Payments screen, then click Other payment settings. payment settings-kz8.png

On the screen that appears, click the Edit button then click the Payment system drop-down and select your online payment system.

After you've selected your online payment system, you enter your account details. Different information is required depending on your payment system.

Before you can switch to Wild Apricot Payments, you must apply for a Wild Apricot Payments/AffiniPay account. For details, click here.

After entering the required account details, click Validate account to make sure your account details are valid.

If the account validation fails, check to make sure you entered the account details properly.

You must also select the default country you want to display to customers, and the currency you want to use in your transactions (and in your reports). The currency you choose should match the currency used in your online payment system account.

You can add different kinds of payments instructions to be displayed at different times.

Live vs. test/sandbox modes

Payment providers typically provide test or sandbox modes so you can test your payment settings before you begin accepting actual payments.

Within your payment settings on Wild Apricot, you can switch between live and test or sandbox connection modes. To switch to test or sandbox mode, click the Test/Sandbox radio button beside Connection mode on the Payment settings screen, then enter the test or sandbox account details provided by your payment provider. In some cases, payment providers allow you to test your payment settings using your actual account details.

In test mode, you should use test credit card numbers provided to you by your payment provider.

While in test mode, your payment provider will accept or decline your test transactions as it would live transactions, but will not charge any credit cards or update any bank accounts. Wild Apricot will, however, create payment records and update Wild Apricot balances as it would with live transactions.

When you are ready to begin accepting actual online payments, click the Live radio button on the Payment settings screen. Your payment provider will now begin recording payments and updating bank and credit card accounts depending on the validity of the payment details provided by your customers.

Supported payment systems

Wild Apricot supports the following payment processing systems:

  • Wild Apricot Payments (powered by AffiniPay)
  • PayPal Payments Standard
  • PayPal Express Checkout
  • PayPal Here (from mobile app only)
  • Stripe
  • Square (from mobile app only)

If you have already set up an account with one of the payment systems supported by Wild Apricot, you can click on the appropriate link above to jump to instructions on setting up that system on your site.

If you enable a payment system other than Wild Apricot Payments, and your organization is based in the US or Canada, a 20% Payment System Servicing Fee will be applied to your account's billing plan on your next renewal date on or after July 2, 2019. For more information, click here.  

You can also accept credit card payments from Wild Apricot's app using Square or PayPal Here. For more information, see Accepting mobile payments using Square and Accepting mobile payments using PayPal Here.

Comparing payment systems

If you do not yet have an account with any of the supported payment systems, the information below should help you to select the most appropriate option. (if you're viewing this within the inproduct help panel, you might want to click here to view it on a larger web page).

The fees listed below are approximate, subject to change, and are charged directly by the payment processor. 

Payment system

Supported merchant locations

Currencies supported

Payment process

Recurring payments?

Fees (USD)

Wild Apricot/

US, Canada


Buyers pay directly on your website with their credit card.


Transaction: 2.9% + $0.30

PayPal Express Checkout

US, Canada, UK, AUS, NZ, more...


Buyers are redirected to PayPal website to log in or enter their credit card details then return to your website to confirm and complete the purchase.


Transaction: 2.2%-2.9% + $0.30
more info...

PayPal Payments Standard

US, Canada, UK, AUS, NZ, more...


Payment is processed at PayPal website.
Buyers can use their PayPal account or enter credit or debit card details.


Transaction: 2.2%-2.9% + $0.30
more info...

Stripe List List Payers will be redirected to a Stripe payment screen. Yes Transaction: 2.9% + $0.30
more info...  

* Customers have reported issues using recurring payments with PayPal Payments Pro. You might consider switching to PayPal Payflow Pro if you plan to use recurring payments.

If you are using PayPal Payments Standard, you should consider the PayPal Express Checkout option since it provides better support for recurring payments for the same cost.

Making online payments

Members and visitors to your site can pay online for membership, events, and donations using self-service forms.

There are several online self-service forms available to members and visitors to your site:

  • Membership application form
  • Membership renewals and membership level changes
  • Event registrations
  • Online donation form

Completing any of these forms – except donation forms – will automatically generate an invoice (assuming there is a cost associated with the transaction). These invoices, as well as donations and manually generated invoices, can be immediately and securely paid online using a credit card or other payment mechanism.

Depending on the payment system you choose, the customer might be redirected to your payment provider's website (e.g. PayPal). Otherwise, the payment will be handled directly on a secure payment page provided by Wild Apricot. For a description of the payment process for each payment system, see Comparing payment systems (above).

As part of the payment process, customers will be required to use a reCAPTCHA form to prove they are not a malicious bot. The reCAPTCHA form may appear more than once depending on the customer's situation.

Once the payment is confirmed, the payment system will automatically update the transaction status of the payment record in Wild Apricot and email a receipt to the payer. Depending on your settings in Wild Apricot, this can trigger further actions, such as activating membership, sending welcome emails, sending event registration receipts, or sending donation confirmations.

After the payment is processed, the customer is returned to the Invoices and payments tab on their member profile, where an invoice will appear, along with a payment entry, if the payment was successful.

For security reasons, credit card information is not stored in Wild Apricot. Instead, the payment provider receives and processes the payment details, then returns the status of the payment transaction, which is recorded in your Wild Apricot transaction details. payment processing-1QM.png


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