7 Things You Should Know When Choosing a Payment Processor for Your Online Church Platform

Your church’s payment processor will enable you to seamlessly handle credit and debit card payments with minimal fees. At least, that’s what they should be doing for you. Not all payment processors are created equal so, when making your comparisons, be sure you keep these seven things in mind.

#1 There’s More Than One Way to Accept Payments

As you compare payment processors, one of the first aspects you should consider is how a specific processor will let you accept payments. The most common options include:

  • Via a link: Embed a link into a button or send it to your followers. It will direct them to an online page where they can submit their payment info.
  • Via a pop-up: Embed a button into your page and, when clicked, an on-page pop-up form will appear, keeping visitors on your site.
  • Via a form: Copy and paste some code directly onto your site’s page so visitors don’t have to click any buttons or leave the site.

The last option is the most effective, as embedding a form directly into a webpage gives you the most control over its style and the donor experience as a whole. Branded donation forms are 249% more likely to generate recurring gifts.

#2 Automatic Fraud Detection is Critical

The last thing your church wants is to be a victim of fraudulent transactions. Fortunately, many payment processors have built-in fraud detection systems that will block suspicious transactions and send alerts when they think you need to take a closer look at a specific donor or donation.

Payment processors should also devote resources to maintaining security by properly encrypting all information and ensuring the entire process is secure from start-to-finish. Look for a processor that emphasizes their security protocols.

#3 Flexible Pricing is a Must-Have

Many basic payment processors advertise themselves as “free” when, in reality, you’ll end up paying a lot of money in per-transaction fees. When comparing options, make sure you look at pricing side-by-side, considering any monthly fees along with setup fees, hardware fees (i.e., for a giving kiosk), and the transaction fees you’ll end up paying.

If you want to minimize your fees, you might consider a payment processor that allows you to pass the processing fees onto the donor, having them add a few dollars to their donation to cover those fees so you get more as a church.

#4 Minimum and Maximum Limits Impact Your Budget

While on the topic of how much you pay for a payment processor, keep in mind that some services have minimum and/or maximum limits for each pricing tier. Failing to reach your tier’s minimum limit may bump your church to a lower tier or result in extra fees. Meanwhile, exceeding the maximum limit may lead to a fee or a rate change.

If you have any questions about limits or fees, the best time to ask them is before you choose a payments processor. After all, this will definitely factor into your decision. Think ahead about your current average number of transactions and dollar amounts, and then consider how much those numbers may increase in the near future.

#5 Look for Nonprofit and Church Experience

While it’s not necessary, working with a payments provider experienced in the nonprofit industry can do wonders for helping you increase donations and even reduce your fees. Meanwhile, working with a processor who knows the ins-and-outs of running a church will boost your success.

Any coaching or consulting you’ll get when setting up the payments processor will be that much more applicable and tailored to your church if the company behind it is knowledgeable about your needs and concerns.

#6 Seek a Variety of Payment Methods

Ideally, you’ll be able to keep all of your payment collection under one umbrella to simplify reporting and provide a seamless and consistent donation process. That means you need to look for a payments provider that offers various collection methods, be it kiosk and in-person giving or online giving in the form of one-time and recurring donations.

Your church should also look for a provider who supports fundraising efforts, mobile app giving, text-based giving, and so on. These options will help your church continue to meet changing donor needs and stay ahead of the game as time goes by.

#7 Prioritize Excellent Support

Whether you’re switching from another payments processor and hoping to find a better-suited solution or hopping into the world of online donations for the first time, excellent support should never be underestimated. The right payments processor will hold your hand, helping you get set up quickly while pointing out opportunities and handy features along the way.

Some software offers coaching and/or consulting services. You should take advantage of these add-ons if your church is looking to grow. By getting to know the software and everything you can do with it, your church will get the most for its money and achieve a more sustainable stream of donations over time.

Looking for The Perfect Payment Processor?

Here at Donorwerx, we understand the needs of churches because we specialize in helping religious organizations like yours learn how to talk about tithing and encourage generosity amongst congregants. With our software, combined with personalized coaching and consulting, we help church leaders grow their ministries and easily reach the goals that they once found daunting.

Interested in learning more about Donorwerx? Book a free 30-minute call today.

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