Research finds Americans concerned about fraud, but maintain habits

Nonprofit organizations that accept donations online need to make sure individuals wishing to contribute to a fundraising campaign can do so quickly and efficiently. More importantly, charitable foundations should provide an experience that takes donor preferences and habits into account. A single-channel approach to fundraising simply won't work because some people enjoy the convenience of using a credit or debit card to donate online while others feel more secure replying through direct mail to support a nonprofit's project.

Credit and debit still preferred choices
However, if organizations truly hope to make an online fundraising project work, they need to respond to concerns people may have over data security and payment processing. In spite of data breaches found in multiple retail stores throughout the U.S., a recent poll conducted by The Associated Press and the German global research firm GfK Group found that consumer habits largely haven't changed.

On one hand, the poll suggests that people are increasingly worried about identify theft and fraud, but some experts are also drawing the conclusion that people have grown to accept these drawbacks as a part of life. This frame of mind errs on the side of complacency and shouldn't guide nonprofits as they choose a payment processing provider. The goal with any organization that handles the financial data of donors or consumers must be to ensure all of their information will be secure and ultimately free from risk.

Concerns still exist
While American consumers haven't changed their habits regarding credit card payments, nearly 60 percent of them indicated they are deeply concerned when completing transactions online. Another 62 percent reported they were worried when make purchases on their mobile devices. Still, few people have sought alternatives to credit and debit payments, and only 37 percent of consumers chose to use cash instead.

One response some credit card industry professionals have considered is the use of smart cards. Instead of the traditional magnetic strip, smart cards have a chip imbedded in the plastic, which is more difficult for fraud perpetrators to steal, and card owners must enter a pin number with every transaction. Citing The Wall Street Journal, FierceRetailIT said Target had implemented a smart card system a few years ago, but after three years of consumer reluctance to use the cards, the store canceled​ the project.

The main issue is a business, whether it's a charitable foundation or for-profit enterprise, should have the systems in place that will provide the highest standards of security when handling payments.

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