Frequently Asked Questions About Electronic Giving
Open your heart without opening your checkbook
Q. What are the major advantages of electronic giving by direct debit?
A. Direct debit is all about convenience for you and consistency for the church. 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 much-needed donation consistency and 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. As a second option, you can also make contributions using a credit or debit card.
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. You can also create your own account on www.peculiarumc.org and directly control your contributions.
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 or credit card statement will show an itemized list of electronic transactions that can be used as proof of your contributions.
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. 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 to the church on the same day without any delay. Vanco processes contributions for more than 10,000 churches and nonprofit organizations. Vanco is a PCI Level 1 Compliant Service Provider.
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?
Q. What if I need to make a change?
A. Since all entries into the EFT system are handled by our church personnel, changes can be made on a weekly basis.
Q. How can I be sure my on-line entries are secure?
A. Your internet browser will have a locked padlock icon at the bottom of the screen indicating that the information is high-grade encrypted with the standard 128 bit protocol. Ensure that your firewall is turned on by checking your Security Center [Click Start – Control Panel – Security Center]. Verify that your Internet Options specifies use of TLS 1.0 and SSL 3.0, but not SSL 2.0. Be sure you are using the most up-to-date internet browser and security software. You can test your browser for SSL functionality.
Q. Can I try an on-line demo to give me practice and greater confidence?
A. Yes, you can click here and make test entries that will not be recorded.
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