Tag Archives: Payment Solutions

Trends in Payment Technology for Fundraisers

What this latest trend? Should I be using it?

You could be forgiven for thinking that payment tech is a little dull. Even our speaker, Tom Epplett from iATS Payments admits he might once have been the geeky one at the party.

But my goodness, were we engaged by the landscape that was described to us – and the challenges we share.

Steve Thomas (Purple Vision) described the UK landscape – a £1.3bn pot of online giving (just 15% of the fundraising pie) awaits our fundraising efforts. That’s 18m donations of about £30 each. So our question had to be, what’s out there to help us gain our share of the online digital pie in the UK.

Cue Tom. We invited Tom to speak not just because he is one of the partners we work with to implement payment solutions in our CRM work. He is. But he is also a thoroughly nice chap, with a very neat and clear way of explaining the technical details of different options and tools and their pros and cons. Just the chap to whizz us around what’s going on in the big wide world of payments.

We laughed as we recalled the days of dial up modems, until we realised that made some of us in the room feel old, and the rest had no idea what we were talking about. Moving swiftly on, Tom went on to take us through the payment structure landscape – this put context around discussion and decisions about models to adopt.


payment routes

See the slides: Payment Technology Trends for Fundraisers

The ‘reality check’ around the market and growth opportunities in the market showed the year on year growth in online donations globally to be around 13% – compared to just 4% for offline donations. It is easy to be diverted by facts and figures – despite the lower year on year growth offline fundraising is still by far the biggest income generator for charities. So, we have to keep on doing what we need to do to service those customer requirements, many of which we established are very ingrained – some charities report high percentages of cheque income, as it is a trusted and safe method of handing over money.

Even in the world of offline payments, there is room for checking your arrangements fit requirements and are compliant with rules and regulations.

But back to Payment Tech trends … how do you evaluate all these new opportunities?

Tom offered us a 6 point approach to help guide our choices and decisions.Tom's 6 points for evaluating payment solutions

For each of these points, finding out whether a solution is either or in each case will help you weigh up the risks and opportunities around areas like privacy and security, customer acceptance and costs which each point raises. In turn this will allow you to undertake a more robust evaluation and be a good ‘due diligence’ exercise.

[EMV = Europay. Mastercard, Visa, NFC = Near Field Communication or contactless types of tech vs QR codes (and the key here being to how they integrate and collect payment)]

We looked at several of the options out there on the market today and thought about their benefits and potential limitations – from the limitations of tools like wallets, the opportunities of things like square (plug in swipe card tech which turns mobiles into payment terminals) for events and how bitcoin fits into the puzzle (broadly, for most of us, it doesn’t!). We touched on the potential for concepts like crowd-funding, and how disruptive new entrants like Amazon and Google could be.

A lot of discussion and input into issues we each faced in our own charities in a helpful question and answer session – sending people away with new thoughts and ideas about how to tackle some immediate issues and address some of the problems faced every day at work.

See the slides: Payment Technology Trends for Fundraisers


Tom’s Take Home’sCRMWhite

Some of tops top bits of wisdom (all with the caveat of knowing your own customer and charities of course)

  • KYC – know your customer – what are they comfortable with – this is key to everything.
  • Mobile point of sale is likely to be more useful than wallets for most charities
  • You can tell the pioneers as they’re the ones with arrows in their back’ – if an idea is new to market, and you don’t have to use it straight away, wait. In 6-12 months they may not be in the game anymore and you might have wasted your time and money setting up. If you have funds to invest in innovation, go for it to capture the curve and gain some kudos for being early adopters. If not, listen, look and learn.
  • What do you want to use this for? Start with the question about what the problem is you are trying to solve, and then work out the best solution. It will be hard to find a one size fits all solution but it is possible.
  • Talk to your existing payment provider and make sure that you are using the right tools in their repertoire for your needs and the set up you have is robust and compliant. Are they doing everything they can from you.

About Tom

Tom Epplett is COO of iATS Payments. Based in Canada, the company provides payment processing and solutions for charities around the world, and solutions that integrate with a range of CRM solutions.

Can we help?

If you want to find out more about their products and services or advice about payment tools and integrations for your non-profit, call Keith at Purple Vision – 0845 458 0250