NYLA Supported Credit Card Processing

As the general public has increasing turned to debit cards to make purchases, the demand for credit card processing for the collection of library fines has expanded.  The ability to accept credit card payments has traditionally been cost prohibitive for many libraries, particularly when the fines due are smaller than the processing fee charged.  

The New York Library Association (NYLA) is pleased to offer a new service to its organizational members.   Working in conjunction with BancCard, NYLA has established a new program to allow libraries to collect credit card payments, while removing the hurdles of establishing a merchant account.

“I love being able to offer this service to the public.  Many of our users expected us to be able to take credit cards and were disappointed that we could not accept them.  I really appreciate how secure and easy the service is to use.”
- Geoff Kirkpatrick, Director, Bethlehem Public Library

How It Works

The participating library must be an organizational member of NYLA.
The library would complete an application form, and submit the annual participation fee of $180.
An account would be established for the library, and training would be provided to system users.
The annual participation fee includes unlimited user support.

Credit card transactions can be collected at any computer with internet access, via a web browser.
Credit card, patron, and fine amount information would be manually entered via keyboard. (A card reader 'swipe reader' is available for a one-time fee of $150.) A minimum charge of $2 is suggested, but not required.  (We believe that many patrons would be willing to have their fine ‘rounded-up’ to $2 for the convenience of using their debit card.)

Collected funds would be aggregated by NYLA, and the library would receive a report of transactions, and a disbursement of funds on a quarterly basis.  The collected funds would incur a 2.5% processing and administrative fee, which would be deducted prior to disbursement.  Paper check or electronic transfer of funds is available for disbursements.

Sample Expense Overview

Anytown Library collects $60,000 annually in fines.  We estimate that 25% of patrons would opt to pay by debit card if given the option, which would be $15,000 annually.

Projected Annual Dues Revenue from Credit Card Transactions: $15,000

NYLA/BancCard Participation Fee $180
2.5% Administrative & Processing Fee $375
Total Expenses $555


Additional Considerations

Once enrolled the library may accept credit card payments for any purpose they choose, including fines, donations, and program registrations.  It is permissible to accept funds on behalf of the libraries friends group. (The library would be responsible for the disbursement of funds to any group that they collect money on the behalf of.)

The system is available for in-person transaction at the library only.  This system does NOT integrate with patron management systems; fines collected via the system will be required to be credited to the patron's record seperately.

Sample Document

NYLA Credit Card Processing Services Program Overview (PDF)

Sample Program MOU (PDF)

NYLA Credit Card Processing Security Standards (PDF)

For more information contact:
Jeremy Johannesen
NYLA Executive Director