- Custom pricing
- Managed and DIY solutions
- Open API for developers
- HTML editor restricted to larger clients
- Analytics dashboard lacking metrics
- No built-up external integrations to financial software
Cornerstone Payment Systems is a provider of payment processing solutions for nonprofit and for-profit organizations. A little-known competitor to heavy hitters like Paypal, Cornerstone offers its users custom pricing and lower processing fees.
How it works
Cornerstone is just like any payment processing platform. It has a built-in user dashboard that tracks transactions and the analytics behind those transactions. Additionally, Cornerstone has an HTML editor and iFrame capability so that organizations can create donation landing pages that match brand identity.
The HTML editor is only available to organizations who request it and have the developers on staff. Besides these cases, almost every aspect of Cornerstone’s service is managed.
Backend dashboard and analytics
The backend dashboard is very user-friendly. Upon logging in, users have access to all recent transactions and any other related data. This information can be toggled to lists and spreadsheet views. Users also can export data into CSV formats.
Data is tracked in the analytics dashboard, allowing users to break down metrics such as mean donations, annual averages, primary payment methods, and others. Cornerstone’s analytics provide very little information when it comes to demographics and other marketing data.
The backend dashboard also houses transaction controls. Users can accept and decline payments manually while also setting recurring payments. Plus, there are controls available to re-run failed transactions.
API and integration
Cornerstone offers a REST-like open API over GitHub for developers. There are also custom webhooks and software connections that are built to a client’s needs. Besides that, there are no integrations with external platforms like Google, Quickbooks, or Quickbase. Lacking integrations with key financial platforms, specifically, can be a real turn-off for customers. A lot of the time, customers of donor software look for flexibility among their various platforms, which include financial tracking software.
Cornerstone offers custom solutions to a wide range of clients. All plans are determined on the needs of the client, scale of donations, and the relevant transaction and processing fees. Processing fees range from 2.2 to 2.7 percent while plans start at several hundreds of dollars to several thousand.
What we think
Cornerstone is undoubtedly a hidden gem when it comes to the crowded market of payment processing. From the HTML editing capability for large organizations to the custom pricing, the payment processing platform could help any sized organization.
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