Why charitable foundations need to address payment security questions

Charitable foundations have historically used multiple channels to entice donors to give financial support to various causes and community-based initiatives. Before the proliferation of digital and mobile platforms, organizations were largely bound by paper-based systems, and telephone donations were the most efficient method of payment. In truth, telephone donations still represent one of the most effective means of managing fundraising initiatives; however, research indicates that people are growing more concerned about privacy issues associated with giving credit card information over the phone and mobile devices.

Risk of fraud over the phone
The British research firm Davies Hickman and contact center management enterprise Syntec Telecom recently released a white paper detailing the extent to which individuals have grown uncomfortable giving their credit card information to make purchases over the phone. In fact, 59 percent of people demonstrated reluctance to making telephone payments due to fear of fraud. However, 43 percent of individuals in the study indicated they would be more receptive to providing their financial information over the phone if organizations made a concerted effort to show the robustness of their payment security systems. While call centers are more representative of for-profit enterprises, nonprofit organizations should take heed of increasing caution toward divulging personal information over the phone.

Mobile devices face scrutiny over security
Meanwhile, charitable foundations have kept up with cultural and technological shifts toward mobile payment options as smartphones and tablets have gained increasing traction in the computing market. ComputerWorld UK reported there is a growing concern among consumers regarding the integrity of payment platforms on mobile devices. Citing a recent ICM Research report, the IT management website stated only 17 percent of 2000 U.K. consumers surveyed had made a payment with their mobile device. What's more, 60 percent of these transactions were bank transfers - not actual payments for goods, services or donations. Much like their counterparts for telephone payments, 50 percent of individuals in the study indicated security risks caused them to hesitate in performing transactions on their mobile devices.

However, this technology represents a significant opportunity for charitable foundations to expand the ways donors can interact and fund community initiatives. These data reflect the need for engagement with donors to reassure those who may be doubtful of payment security that many organizations integrate software for mobile and online donations that protects credit card and personal information.

Most importantly, the study indicated 10 percent of U.K. consumers were thrown off by complexities in the registration process for making payments via their mobile devices, which is an issue that can be easily addressed. Entrepreneur emphasized the utility of allowing people to make payments without setting up an account. While accounts provide organizations with a wealth of information to manage future fundraising campaigns, donors frequently want a streamlined process for supporting an organization.

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