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Topic: What is the best solution for Church Tithes and Offerings

All,

What would be the easiest way for a church to receive online donations? I understand it also depends on the estimated amount coming in. Whether it is $100/mo or $10,000/mo.

Should I setup the following:

ssl + merchant account
if so, what are the best options for each (ssl & merchant account)

or

paypal

or

sign up with a service to pay a monthly fee for the ssl (shared/individual) + merchant account.

Thanks,

GP

Proverbs 12:14 - Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.

Re: What is the best solution for Church Tithes and Offerings

A lot of what you are asking depends upon the volume of donations coming through.  I'm not a big fan of PayPal in general, but now that they have bought Verisign's merchant division, things are getting better.  I have just always thought their interface is clunky.  If it is a fairly low volume, I would look into the solution provider model.  If it is a higher volume and you have the expertise to build the payment gateway interface I would go that route. 

We use Merchant Gateway solutions because it gives us more control over how to customize the experience.  We handle donations, event registrations, and a shopping cart solution in SiteOrganic.

Re: What is the best solution for Church Tithes and Offerings

We did SSL + Merchant Account + Payment Gateway. We have monthly transactions in the hundreds, probably "mid-scale" in terms of amount compared to other churches with online donation systems. We have yet to deploy a shopping cart solution, but we went with this approach to accepting payments for the same reasons Chuck mentioned: it flexes to fit our needs and it gives us better control over the components and design. Of course, there are added responsibilities like security, etc. But I think it's worth the challenge and it will save you a few bucks as well.