By Gina Calvert

Do Churches Pay Credit Card Fees?

If you’re new to online giving, you may wonder if churches pay credit card fees. The answer is YES … and sometimes NO.

Here’s what we mean:

When Churches Pay Credit Card Fees

Anytime money is transferred with a credit or debit card, various entities involved in the transaction do charge fees. You don’t usually see this when you pay for something with a credit or debit card yourself because the business pays the fee. (Although they have likely raised prices here and there to help recoup those costs.) It works the same way for churches.

The fee is always a percentage of the transaction, and it is divided among several different organizations. Some of these fees are non-negotiable, including those charged by the two entities required to complete a credit card transaction:

  • The credit card company (i.e. Visa, Mastercard, Discover)
  • The issuing bank (a.k.a. the merchant processor or payment gateway…Chase, Citibank, Square)

The credit card company and issuing bank’s transaction fees vary constantly, depending on current rates and the level of risk involved in the process.

How Vision2 Handles Credit Card Fees

The online giving vendor (i.e. Vision2, Pushpay, Tithe.ly, etc.) also tacks on a small fee to help cover the cost of their software. They can set transaction fees at whatever rate they want – and this is where churches should comparison shop to save on fees.

No one likes credit card transaction fees. But unlike some other online giving vendors, Vision2 does not charge a monthly contract fee on top of transaction fees. Rather, we recoup the cost of our software and services strictly through this modest transaction fee, MINUS the merchant processor fee. We eliminate this fee because we have made the significant investment to become our own payment processor. So churches pay less with Vision2 than with online giving vendors who must assess both fees.

With no monthly contract fee, your church only ever pays a small percentage of total gifts, never an additional flat fee. And there’s more good news: Our data shows that Vision2 raises overall giving by an average of 23%, which is much higher than the single digit cost of transaction fees. So ultimately, online giving –properly promoted — can result in a net gain.

Get more details at Church Credit Card Processing Simplified.

When Churches Don’t Pay Credit Card Fees

Vision2 and other online giving platforms contain a feature called “Donor Pays Fees.” It gives your giver the option at checkout to pay the small transaction fee themselves.

Studies show that givers happily pay the fees 50-65% of the time, significantly reducing the amount the church pays. (Source) It’s important to make sure the online giving platform you use has this as a feature your givers opt in to and that they can see their total (gift + fee) before agreeing.

Use a platform that keeps these fees reasonable and customize the messaging on your giving form to let them know that paying the small transaction fee helps givers make an even bigger impact for their church.

Don’t Trust Credit Card Processors to be Experts on Your Givers

To learn more about how Vision2 Systems can save you money on credit card transaction fees, schedule a no-risk demo.