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Why You Should be Accepting ATM, Debit Card, and Credit Card Donations

by Todd Nelson

Technology is rapidly changing. People are using this advanced technology to make things easier and quicker. For one example, people are no longer using cash and instead are starting to make the majority of their purchases with debit or credit cards. Many church members follow this same approach. They are more accustomed to making purchases or payments by using their ATM, debit and credit cards and they enjoy the rewards that using their cards brings.

A lot of people are also more likely to carry ATM, debit and credit cards more than a checkbook or large amounts of cash. A credit card is also more useful in special need or emergency situations compared to cash or checks. Many are also more comfortable making unplanned purchases (or donations) on a credit card than by cash or check. Purchasing with credit cards also gives people the flexibility to pay for things they may not have the cash in their pocket for.

A common occurrence of this is at church and religious organizations. Many times people want to contribute but simply don't have the money in their pocket to put into the collection tray. Or they may want to donate more than what they have in cash. That's where being able to process debit and credit card donations comes in. By giving members the ability to make donations using their debit or credit cards you are giving them more flexibility, more access, and making it easier for them to contribute.

In religious organizations that have started utilizing credit and debit card donations, some experienced increased donations beyond what they had been getting. Churches are also appreciating the accounting ease of accepting credit cards. Instead of spending many hours opening envelopes, counting cash, and entering data, they can refocus many of those hours for volunteer work or other useful projects.

Another added benefit is that when people are signed up for donations through their credit or debit card, they commit to donating every week and are less likely to donating less on weeks they have less money in their pockets. This is called 'Recurring Tithing' or Automatic Tithing'.

How does it work? It is a very easy process to start allowing your members to make donations with their credit card. In order to use an "Automatic Donations" option you will need to have an "Online Gateway" processing option. The gateway of choice for this is DowCommerce. It has a built in credit card processing feature. There is not a setup charge for the Internet Gateway, and the Credit Card processing option is included at no additional cost to churches and religious organizations.

If you have a website you can even allow your members to sign up on the internet or you can sign them up as well. When they sign up they can decide how much to donate and how often. It will automatically come out of their credit card account.

You setup a recurring plan and the internet gateway will then generate the code that you can place on your website. From there, just direct your members to visit your site to sign up for the "Automatic Donations" program. Their first contribution will be instant, and then it will be automatic based up on the plan they signed up for. Each week or month they will receive an automatic "receipt" email showing their transaction.

You could also have your members sign an "Automatic Tithing" authorization form. You will then manually enter their information into the online system. Once they are in the system, everything will be totally automatic.

It's time to setup 'Recurring Donations'. Don't keep missing out on potential revenue when there are options that can help you.

This article was written by Todd Nelson, Marketing Director for Capital Merchant Solutions, Inc (www.holyprocessing.com). CMS has been in the merchant account business for nearly 10 years, and offers free merchant accounts to both online and retail businesses. This article may be republished as long as absolutely no changes are made, and the resource box is included. Copyright 2007 - Capital merchant Solutions, Inc. - All rights reserved.

Published May 21st, 2007

Filed in Business, Ecommerce, Finance, Internet, Religion