Receiving Payment for Ticket Sales


Every venue operator quite understandably wants to receive their ticket income as soon as possible.

Unlike many other ticketing companies, InterTicket does not retain ticket income until the event has taken place or transfer accumulated income only on a monthly or other predefined basis after deducting credit card transaction. Instead, we like to see all ticket income directly deposited into the venue operator's bank account the moment a ticket is sold and the payment transaction completed. We then invoice our system usage fees on a monthly basis based on the value of tickets sold in the prior month.


How does it work?

For those unfamiliar with the way that transactions are processed when purchasing products or services off web sites, the basic process is as follows:

  • The customer selects the tickets they want and enters their credit card details on the web page
  • The customer hits the "Pay" button and the credit card details are sent in encrypted format to our ticket server.
  • The card and payment details are forwarded via another encrypted link to a third-party organization called a Payment Gateway which is the link between our ticketing software and your merchant account.
  • The Payment Gateway then forwards the transaction information to the Payment Processor used by the merchant's acquiring bank.
  • The payment processor forwards the transaction information to the card association (i.e., Visa/MasterCard).
  • If an American Express or Discover Card was used, then the processor acts as the issuing bank and directly provides a response of approved or declined to the payment gateway
  • Otherwise, the card association routes the transaction to the correct card issuing bank.
  • The credit card issuing bank receives the authorization request and sends a response back to the processor (via the same process as the request for authorization) with a response code. In addition to responding if the transaction is approved or declined, the response code is used to signify the reason the transaction failed (such as insufficient funds, incorrect card number etc)
  • The processor forwards the response back to the payment gateway.
  • The payment gateway receives the response, and forwards it back to both the website where the payment was entered and our ticket server as either an approved or declined transaction.
  • If the credit card transaction is approved, the payment gateway contacts your bank and the full payment is credited to your nominated bank account.
  • The entire process typically takes 2–3 seconds

Whilst this may seem complicated, in reality you need not be concerned about the actual way that the transactions are handled and in fact, you don't necessarily need to establish both a payment gateway and merchant account because there are organizations which provide a service combining both functions.


Payment Handling Options

There are essentially three basic options for handling payments for ticket transactions:

1. You establish an (internet) merchant account with your existing bank or with any bank you care to nominate, and separately establish an account with a payment processor such as Authorize.Net or eProcessingNetwork. Typically a payment gateway will apply a transaction fee of between $0.20 and $0.50 per transaction and may either charge an application fee or sometimes a monthly usage fee. Your bank will probably charge you a rate of between 1.5% and 3% on credit card transactions through your merchant account and probably some monthly fee and maybe an application fee, but this is generally negotiable depending on your the volume of business.

2. You sign up with an organization such as Bank Associates Merchant Services (BAMS) or Merchant Plus, which combines both a payment gateway and merchant account, and the income from any transactions is then simply deposited direct to your bank account. Because the credit card processing industry is quite competitive, and there are many companies offering such services, you may find that this is a lower cost option than setting up a payment gateway and merchant account separately, because the companies offering the combined service, often offer a lower charge per transaction. This can be quite important if your ticket price is relatively low.

3. You can sign up with PayPal (and there are some lesser-known companies which offer a similar service in different countries) to handle the payment processing. Again in this case, all ticket revenue is deposited directly to your account after deduction of the PayPal fees. Depending on your point of view, a possible disadvantage of using Standard PayPal is that after the customer presses the "Pay" button, he/she is transferred to the PayPal website to complete processing, and after the processing is completed, they are returned to your Web site. Another disadvantage from the ticketing system administration point of view, is that with standard PayPal, it is not possible to enter credit card details received by telephone or by mail from a customer directly into our system - card details can only be entered on the PayPal website by the customer. 

On the other hand, if you wish to see why PayPal say you should use their service, see WhyPayPal.

A more advanced version of PayPal called Website Payments Pro is available in both the USA and UK, where the customer does not get transferred to the PayPal website but the entire transaction is conducted like in options 1 & 2 above. PayPal charges a flat fee of around 2.2%-3% plus a $0.30 transaction fee and an additional $30 per month fee for the Website Payments Pro option

PayPal Website Payments Pro also has the option of a Virtual Terminal where credit card details from a customer can be directly entered.

For more information about payment gateway options with InterTicket, see our Payment Processing page.



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What Our Clients Say

Anyway… last night was our first show using the Tickets system, and all-in-all it went stupendously!!! I’m glad we found you. You are very nice to work with.

Annie F
Millennium Repertory Co. TN

In the UK, other ticketing software was very expensive - for us the Tickets program is perfect.  The customer service is second to none.

Vicky E
Far Out Theatre, Yorkshire
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