Configure SOFORT Banking for ConfTool Pro

One of the payment options that are already included in ConfTool Pro is SOFORT Banking (German speaking countries: SOFORT Überweisung). When participants choose this payment method, they transfer the amount due using the details of their online banking account. This fast and secure method is cost effective, especially for non-profit/charitable organizations. These organizations can usually benefit from a free account with SOFORT when they provide proof of tax exemption.

SOFORT Banking currently allows you to receive payments from 11 European countries and supports these currencies: Euros, Swiss francs, Polish zloty, Hungarian forint, Czech koruna and pounds sterling. Usually you will use the system in the eurozone and with one currency (euro) only, as ConfTool Pro only supports one main currency.

Setting up a SOFORT Account

First, you have to set up a SOFORT account. Please call this page:
https://www.sofort.com/payment/users/register
and enter the details for your merchant account (details of your organization, contact data, tax number).

You are now requested to activate one of the SOFORT Banking products (fees are incurred). Please contact SOFORT AG directly to ask for a free account by submitting your proof of tax exemption.

Once your account is activated, please create a new project by clicking on "New project" in the menu on the left. You will be asked to choose a project type. Please continue by opting for a "SOFORT Gateway Project" (see image 1).

Image 1: Creating a SOFORT Gateway project - click to enlarge

On the settings page of the SOFORT Gateway project, for the integration to work with ConfTool, only the "General settings" are important.

In the box "General settings", type an appropriate name in the field "Project name". For the option "Shop system", please choose "Own shop system (self programmed)". Make your own selection for the option "Industry". In the field "Website", please enter the URL of your ConfTool installation, e. g.: www.conftool.net/sample-conference-2017/ .

Continue by entering your bank account details in the box "Bank account" (see image 2).

You can leave all other settings at their default values.

Save the new project.

Image 2: SOFORT general and bank account settings - click to enlarge

Once you have created the new project, re-open it by clicking on "My projects". Please do so to find the "Configuration key for your shop system" there. Copy this key (see image 3).

Image 3: Configuration key for ConfTool - click to enlarge

ConfTool Pro Settings for SOFORT Banking

Open your ConfTool Pro installation and go to this page:
Overview => Settings => Manage Payment Options

Activate the option "Enable SOFORT Banking" and enter the "SOFORT Banking 'Project Configuration Key'" copied from your SOFORT Banking project.

For the option "Supported Countries", activate the countries from which you want to be able to receive SOFORT Banking transactions. Only for participants from these countries the payment option SOFORT will be available.

Finally, define a reason for transfer for the fields "Reason of Transfer Line 1" and "Reason of Transfer Line 2". These will appear together with incoming transactions in your online banking account as well as in the banking statements of your participants. Therefore, make sure that the reason for transfer can be clearly identified by both parties involved (see image 4)!

Image 4 - Settings for SOFORT Banking in ConfTool Pro - click to enlarge

Finally, please test the settings by carrying out a test transfer via ConfTool Pro and SOFORT Banking.

Hint: Even if SOFORT Banking allows merchants to receive payments from participants in currencies other than the currency of the merchant’s main account, this functionality usually requires extra bank accounts in these foreign currencies and a multi-currency set-up is currently not fully supported by ConfTool Pro.

If required, you could activate “SOFORT XXL”, but additional fees are incurred for this functionality, and you will need to hold a bank account with “Deutsche Handelsbank”. If you decide to offer multiple currencies via SOFORT, please contact SOFORT AG directly for further assistance and test if everything works as expected.

Consequently, we recommend offering the option to pay via SOFORT Banking only to those participants who reside in countries that share the same currency that is set as the main currency in your ConfTool Pro settings for SOFORT Banking. For foreign currency payments, please have a look at other payment systems, e. g. PayPal or Stripe.