Online Payments: The Significant Benefits for Your Ministry
As a large portion of Americans are taking their shopping online, ministries are beginning to recognize that people not only like to buy online, they also would prefer to give online. People can conveniently make gifts and payments using checks and credit cards, on their own time and in their own homes. They can also quickly fill in requested information without having to hunt around the house for the family checkbook — or a stamp. It saves them time and effort. They can make recurring payments without having to remember to write the checks.
For the ministry, it’s good stewardship and money management because people will be encouraged to give with the ease of this service. Experts are finding that recurring online giving increases the size of individual and total gifts. And when a gift or payment is made online, the money goes directly into your institution’s bank account, within 24-48 hours. It’s no wonder that more organizations are discovering the power of “online” to keep their finances in line.
How do online payments work?
When organizations’ websites provide the right tools, the growing number of "internet comfortable persons" will make electronic payments over the Internet either by electronic check or credit card. Ministries can truly be "open 24 hours a day" to handle transactions or registrations of events and activities. Members can participate in registration of an event on their schedule, not just Sunday morning and evening. If a member wishes to make regular payments for gifts or ministry-related services such as childcare, school tuition or mission support, they can easily do so online. They’ll even receive an advance e-mail confirming their wish to proceed with the next payment, giving them a chance to change the plan and putting them in complete control of their transaction.
How secure are payments online?
Organizations can easily equip their websites to accept online payments through Internet-based software. Secured with the highest-standard encryption technology, you are assured to not have to worry about the risk of identity theft or employee dishonesty, as well as the risk of check loss, either by mail or human hand.
Can online payments help ministries as well as their members?
In addition to encouraging “bigger and better” stewardship, online payment options enhance cash flow because monies arrive consistently, and on time. Online payments can reduce NSF problems because funds settle immediately into your account, rather than sitting on a desk or in an envelope for multipledays. Your employees and volunteers don’t have to spend as much valuable time handling and endorsing checks, making out deposit slips and taking them to the bank. And with less processing, your institution gains three money-management “musts”: greater accuracy, auditability and accountability.