How to pay tithing online?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
aaronklapheck
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby aaronklapheck » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:36 pm

russellhltn wrote:At what cost?

Free. I would be willing to create this system for free. The cheapest way is using a PayPal merchant back-end.

aaronklapheck
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby aaronklapheck » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:45 pm

jdlessley wrote:
aaronklapheck wrote:Really not that big of a deal. Not an issue at all.

It is for the Church Donations Department. Otherwise they would not have issued this official statement:

The preferred method for making donations continues to be through the local ward unit. Those who have questions about electronic bill pay donations may call the LDS Donations Department at 801-240-2554 or email donations@ldschurch.org. Thank you.


Actually it really is not that big of a deal. Just because the Donations Department says it is a big issue doesn't make it one.

I work with bureaucratic processes like these every day of my life and I have seen countless times where a manual process is streamlined into a automated digital one with miniscule collateral - especially large-scale processes.

The Church is true - Church bureaucrats are not.

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marianomarini
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby marianomarini » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:49 pm

aaronklapheck wrote:
russellhltn wrote:At what cost?

Free. I would be willing to create this system for free. The cheapest way is using a PayPal merchant back-end.

Not really free for HQ.
https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees
It seem that will cost at least 2,2% of transaction ammount.

russellhltn
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:56 pm

aaronklapheck wrote:
russellhltn wrote:At what cost?

Free. I would be willing to create this system for free. The cheapest way is using a PayPal merchant back-end.

You mis-understand me - what's the transaction cost? PayPal doesn't do anything for free.
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aaronklapheck
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby aaronklapheck » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:42 pm

marianomarini wrote:
aaronklapheck wrote:
russellhltn wrote:At what cost?

Free. I would be willing to create this system for free. The cheapest way is using a PayPal merchant back-end.

Not really free for HQ.
https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees
It seem that will cost at least 2,2% of transaction ammount.


2.2% or even 3% is next to nothing when compared to the number of hours spent by ward members, clerks, and HQ every single week. Of course it will cost time/money to perform a transaction, it always does.
So lets look at this logically. Every transaction costs time/money so lets see which way ACTUALLY cost the church and its members less.

Method 1: Pay through local ward.
a. Transaction from member to ward
i. $ - transportation costs (if forgot checkbook, which happens to me all the time, and had to go and get it. Some wards have deacons pick up fast offering/tithing)
ii. Time, Reoccurring - must hand enter all information, no automation possible (looked for a digital version and found nothing).
iii. Time, Reoccurring - error handling. There are inevitably one or two slips that are not filled out correctly which waste time or cause problems later on.
b. Transaction from ward to HQ
i. Time Reoccurring - Information from tithing slip must be entered by hand into church system.
ii. $ - transportation costs (money/check has to be driven or mailed to a location where it can be deposited or sent to HQ - fuzzy on this process but seems very time intensive)
iii. Time, Reoccurring - error handling. There are inevitably one or two entries made by the clerk which waste time or cause problems later on.
Number of transactions: 2, low efficiency


Method 2: Pay directly through HQ.
a. Transaction from individual directly to HQ
i. Time, once - Fill out a BillPay form and emails it to the church.
ii. Time, once - member sets up automatic payment through his bank.
iii. Time, Reoccurring - If HQ enters the member number by hand (if this even needs to occur at all). If using PayPal, then $.
Number of transactions: 1, high efficiency


Sending money directly to HQ saves the church time & money, period.
Last edited by aaronklapheck on Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

russellhltn
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:55 pm

aaronklapheck wrote:2.2% or even 3% is next to nothing when compared to the number of hours spent by ward members, clerks, and HQ every single week. Of course it will cost time/money to perform a transaction, it always does.

But the point is there is a cost. Most likely, a higher cost then the current method.

As for "worth it", that's not our decision to make.

If you want things to change, you've got three choices: Take it up with your Stake President to pass on to the Area Authority. Use the "Feedback" link on the main lds.org page (not the Forum of the same name). Or put it in your prayers. This forum is not a method of reaching the decision makers. At best we can alert developers of bugs and feature requests, but this kind of thing involves higher decision-making.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

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jasonfitt
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby jasonfitt » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:58 pm

aaronklapheck wrote:I pay my tithing electronically. If the church has any problem with a large number of members paying tithing online then they should set up an automatic process to do this and save everyone the hassle.


Even if the church had that set up I guarantee you not all would pay that way. I work in a payment processing department for a large telecommunications company, and we accept every type of payment there is. Although customers can pay their monthly bills online by card or bank account (e-check), a large number still mail a paper check in, pay over the phone, or come in to a local payment center. So the ability to pay tithing online certainly would not eliminate the need for local clerks to count weekly donations. Also, you wouldn't believe the amount of online payments are rejected because customers miss-key their bank account information when attempting to process by electronic check.

TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:08 pm

aaronklapheck wrote:
2.2% or even 3% is next to nothing when compared to the number of hours spent by ward members, clerks, and HQ every single week.
Hours spent by ward members, clerks (and bishopric counselors) are donated and don't cost any money. By the time it gets to HQ, it has gone through a bank and the MLS system so is more or less "automatic" anyway.

Thanks you jasonfitt for saying what I have been thinking through this whole discussion. The Church donors are not all "tech savvy" using on line bill paying and such. In fact a very large number avoid it because they worry about hackers and identity theft. Until banks stop accepting paper checks, a lot of people will use them.

aaronklapheck
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby aaronklapheck » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:09 pm

jasonfitt wrote:
aaronklapheck wrote:I pay my tithing electronically. If the church has any problem with a large number of members paying tithing online then they should set up an automatic process to do this and save everyone the hassle.


Even if the church had that set up I guarantee you not all would pay that way. I work in a payment processing department for a large telecommunications company, and we accept every type of payment there is. Although customers can pay their monthly bills online by card or bank account (e-check), a large number still mail a paper check in, pay over the phone, or come in to a local payment center. So the ability to pay tithing online certainly would not eliminate the need for local clerks to count weekly donations. Also, you wouldn't believe the amount of online payments are rejected because customers miss-key their bank account information when attempting to process by electronic check.


You are correct. Not everyone would use an ideal method even if one was found. So lets use the real world and see what actually costs the church more time and money here and now.

Method 1: Pay through local ward.
a. Transaction from member to ward
i. $ - transportation costs (if forgot checkbook, which happens to me all the time, and had to go and get it. Some wards have deacons pick up fast offering/tithing)
ii. Time, Reoccurring - must hand enter all information, no automation possible (looked for a digital version and found nothing).
iii. Time, Reoccurring - error handling. There are inevitably one or two slips that are not filled out correctly which waste time or cause problems later on.
b. Transaction from ward to HQ
i. Time Reoccurring - Information from tithing slip must be entered by hand into church system.
ii. $ - transportation costs (money/check has to be driven or mailed to a location where it can be deposited or sent to HQ - fuzzy on this process but seems very time intensive)
iii. Time, Reoccurring - error handling. There are inevitably one or two entries made by the clerk which waste time or cause problems later on.
Number of transactions: 2, low efficiency

Method 2: Pay directly through HQ.
a. Transaction from individual directly to HQ
i. Time, once - Fill out a BillPay form and emails it to the church.
ii. Time, once - member sets up automatic payment through his bank.
iii. Time, Reoccurring - If HQ enters the member number by hand (if this even needs to occur at all).
Number of transactions: 1, high efficiency

If an individual wanted to donate in a way that ensure more of his time/money actually went to the church then they would use method 2 and NOT give locally through his ward. No church practice or procedure needs to change in any way. Just do it the right way NOW and it will work - no change needed.

TinMan
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Re: How to pay tithing online?

Postby TinMan » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:12 pm

aaronklapheck wrote:
If an individual wanted to donate in a way that ensure more of his time/money actually went to the church then they would use method 2 and NOT give locally through his ward.
Sorry, I need help with that. If I write out a paper check for $100.00 and give it to my bishop, doesn't $100.00 to to the church?

If i send $100.00 to the church via pay pal, doesn't $97.00 go to the church?


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