If you’re using Gravity Forms for payments or donations, you can offer your customers or donors the option of covering the merchant fee that is otherwise normally charged to you. Whether you use PayPal, Stripe, or any other gateway, the same options apply.
Why make it an option? In some cases, your company may be restricted from passing along those fees, based on state laws and service agreements. In addition, it’s simply a better practice to make it an option rather than a requirement. Donors in particular want to know that the money they donate is going toward the organization’s pursuit of its mission. And if you’re not sure whether it’s a bad idea to charge a “convenience fee” no matter what, just think of Ticketmaster and the fees they charge.
You can also click the “Advanced” field and give this checkbox an “Admin field label,” such as “Charge Merchant Fee.” That will make the field easier to find when you’re configuring other options for your form.
If you don’t already have a donation field in your form, add a product field, preferably with “User Defined Price” as your Field Type. It is common for donation forms to offer a predefined set of giving levels on their forms, with an “other amount” available if the donor wants to give a specific amount. That is possible in Gravity Forms, but I’ll cover how to do that in a separate blog post later.
For the merchant fee, add another product field. But this time, the Field Type should be “Calculated.” PayPal and Stripe both charge a fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction for most transactions. (Note: If your organization has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, your organization may qualify for a discounted rate through PayPal.) The basic formula to add on the merchant fee is:
(( d + 0.3 ) / ( 1 - 0.029 )) - d where d is the donation amount. The numbers 0.3 (for 30¢) and 0.029 (for 2.9%) may differ, based on your fee structure. The basic idea is that if a donor gives $100 and chooses to add on the merchant fee, then the full $100 will go to your organization, rather than $96.80.
To apply this formula in the product field, you will want to use the interface provided by Gravity Forms to construct your formula. Use the “Insert Merge Tag” dropdown box to insert the field into your formula. The result should look something like this:
Be sure to also click the “Advanced” tab and check the option “Enable Conditional Logic.” Then, choose “Show this field if All of the following match: Charge Merchant Fee is I would like to cover the cost of the merchant service fee.”
Save your changes, and your form is now ready to go!