Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Giving
Q. What is Electronic Giving?
A. Electronic Giving is a manner in which members and friends of Sts. Peter and Paul Church may make contributions using the modern means of payment which is widely available and growing in demand by a large segment of society.
There are three ways in which electronic payments can be processed:
Direct Debit Giving is used to automatically transfer funds from your checking or savings account to the church’s bank account. If you are already using direct debit to make mortgage and car payments or to pay utility bills, then you know how it works.
Credit & Debit Card Giving lets you make offerings automatically on a pre-determined schedule using a credit or debit card. Today, many families use debit cards as a convenient alternative to paper checks or use credit cards in a responsible manner to manage a wide range of obligations.
Online Giving lets you go to our church website to make one-time donations or to set up a schedule of automatic donations. By setting up a password protected profile, you will be able to log in at any time to make donations, change a recurring donation plan or view your personal giving history. Many people who give electronically prefer this method as it provides quick control of their giving and up to date records available online through the secure web site.
Q. What are the major advantages of electronic giving by Direct Debit?
A. Direct Debit is about convenience for members who like to use these types of payment options. Electronic giving eliminates frequent check writing and helps members stay on track with pledges even when they are unable to attend services. The church in turn benefits from a reduction in the volume of check and cash contributions that must be handled and manually processed in the church office.
Q. How does Direct Debit Giving work?
A. Contributions are transferred automatically from your checking or savings account to the church’s bank account.
Q. How are my automatic contributions deducted and transferred?
A. First, you sign and return an authorization form to the church indicating the amount you wish to contribute on a regular basis. Contributions are then transferred through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network—the same network already used by families to make mortgage and utility payments or to receive payroll earnings and Social Security income. Direct Debit goes by other names including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), automatic payment, or simply, ACH.
Q. When will my contribution be debited from my account?
A. A debit to your account will occur each month on the date you specify on your authorization form.
Q. How will I keep track of contributions in my check register?
A. Since your contribution is made at a pre-established time, you simply record it in your check register on the appropriate date. Electronic contributions will appear on your bank statement.
Q. What can I use to prove I made a contribution?
A. Your bank statement will show an itemized list of electronic transactions that can be used as proof of your contributions.
Q. Is giving by Direct Debit risky?
A. It is certainly less risky than writing checks or carrying cash to church. To process electronic donations, the church uses Vanco Services, LLC—an established and highly-regarded company that moves funds directly from church members' bank accounts to the church's account on the same day without any delay. Vanco processes contributions for more than 10,000 churches and nonprofit organizations.
Q. How much does Direct Debit giving cost?
A. It costs you nothing and it costs the church very little. It is the lowest cost method of transferring funds.
Q. What if I try electronic giving by Direct Debit and don’t like it?
A. You can cancel your authorization at any time by notifying the church.
Q. How can I sign up for electronic giving by Direct Debit?
A. Complete, sign and return an authorization form to the church office.
Q. What is the difference between giving by Direct Debit and giving by Credit or Debit card payment?
A. The only difference is the account which is charged for payment when scheduled. Under Direct Debit giving, a charge is made to your checking account. Under Debit and Credit card giving, a charge is made to your debit card or credit card. Many families have grown accustomed to making payments through a debit or credit card rather than through a checking account. In many cases they find it better in their situations to take advantage of the points programs of these cards and reduce the number of checks they write. For these people, Debit or Credit card giving fits into a practice in which they are already involved with other regularly scheduled payments.
Q. Why would I choose to set up an online giving account rather than Direct Debit giving, or giving using a Credit or Debit card?
A. When you set up an online account you have the quickest form of processing available because paperwork is not being processed. Through the personal profile which you set up, you have the ability to easily access giving information and modify any payments you have set up within a few clicks. However, the transactions and changes are made through a secure web site which is protected with a personal password which you select. People who are already using this type of service to pay utility bills and other regular recurring payments might find this to be a helpful option.