Concordia Technology Solutions works with a number of partners to provide our customers with digital tools for ministry. One of those partners with whom we have worked for a number of years is Vanco Payment Solutions.
Vanco has a long history of providing electronic giving for churches and is the exclusive payment solutions provider for CTS. Their products integrate directly with Shepherd's Staff, which makes it easy to track offerings given electronically. This not only saves church administrators a lot of time, but the integration has also been shown to increase giving.
In a recent meeting with Vanco, the CTS team was introduced to a new giving app called Give+ Mobile. This intriguing (and free!) product from Vanco seemed a bit too good to be true, so I took the opportunity to ask Stephanie Preuss, Head of Product at Vanco, for more details about the app.
First off, is the Give+ Mobile app really free for Vanco client churches and their members?
Yes! Give+ Mobile is a free mobile app included for most Vanco clients with credit/debit processing. Churches simply pay their usual per transaction fees for credit/debit transactions processed through Vanco. For donors, the app is free to download from the App Store – they just search “give plus church” and then there are no fees for those who make donations using the app.
How does a church know if they are set up for Give+ Mobile?
If they are not sure whether their church is set up for Give+ Mobile, they can log into MyVanco and look for the “Appear On Give+ Mobile” column on the “Manage Funds” screen. If they are already set up, the default fund will be set to “yes” in this column. If they are not set up and would like to make Give+ Mobile available to their members, they can call Vanco Client Services at 800-675-7430.
How does a church's members or guests find their church using the Give+ Mobile app?
When donors download the Give+ app for the first time, they will be prompted to enter the name of the church to which they’d like to give. Donors can enter as much of the church name as they know, and then select it from the list. Or, donors can use the "Find churches near me" feature to search for churches in their area. Once donors have selected a church, they will not have to search again unless they want to give to another church. To use the "Find churches near me" feature, donors will need to allow the Give+ Mobile app to access to their location. Donors can turn the app’s location access on or off by going to Settings on their iPhone.
What payment methods are accepted via Give+ Mobile?
The Give+ Mobile app supports donations via all major credit and/or debit cards that a church can accept today through Vanco. Donations via ACH are not supported.
Are donations set at a fixed dollar amount?
Donors can choose to give quickly using one of the preset amounts included in the Give+ Mobile app or enter the specific amount they want to give.
Can donors set up recurring donations?
Yes. If donors choose to create a Give+ Mobile account, they can log in and select the frequency of the transaction during the donation process. If donating to multiple funds at one time, donors can select different frequencies per fund.
Can a church customize Give+ Mobile with their preferred colors and/or logo?
Give+ Mobile was designed with the donor in mind. Vanco has found that members and guests alike quickly associate the Give+ name with church giving, which makes the app easy to find in the App Store. The first time donors use the app, the built-in church search functionality makes it simple to give to their church. Once donors select their church, they never have to search again unless they choose to give to another church. The Give+ Mobile app focuses just on giving and can remain separate and distinct from other apps the church may already use to communicate with their members.
Can Give+ Mobile donations be imported into Shepherd's Staff?
Yes. If a church currently imports their other Vanco donations into Shepherd's Staff, they'll be able to import Give+ Mobile donations as well.
How quickly are Give+ Mobile donations deposited, and when will they show up in Shepherd's Staff?
Just like other Vanco donations, Give+ Mobile donations are electronically deposited into the church bank account within two to four business days. Once funds are deposited, Give+ Mobile donations will appear in Shepherd's Staff during the daily sync (provided that funds and givers are already matched).
What's next for Give+ Mobile?
We’re excited to announce that we’ve already added an enhancement that allows donors to enter their card number by using their phone’s camera (see picture). This makes entering a credit card number quick and easy!
Where can church workers go to learn more about Give+ Mobile?
They can visit connect.vancopayments.com/giveplus-mobile.
To learn how to import donations from Give+ Mobile into Shepherd's Staff, or to learn about Vanco's other electronic giving products, watch the below recording of a live training webinar hosted by CTS and Vanco.
About the Author
Peter Frank serves as Senior Marketing Manager of Church Supplies at Concordia Publishing House. A graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, his background in theology, business, and computers gives him a unique perspective on technology in the church. Married and the father of two children, he is frequently humbled when his 18-month-old shows him new things on the iPad.Follow on Twitter More Content by Peter Frank