How mobile giving needs to be easier and available
Somebody needs to solve this problem of mobile donations aka mobile giving. A few companies I know of that have. But it doesn’t do most churches and nonprofits any good if I know a few of them, they have to know about them.
It dawned on me this is an unsolved problem as I went to 7 churches over the course of Easter weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, affectionately known as the OC Easter Tour. I wanted to give as a part of worship at the churches I visited, but discovered that 5 out of 7 churches didn’t have an accessible & working mobile giving solution!
So I could only give a donation via my Android smartphone to 2 of those churches. (Like a growing segment of the American population, I don’t do cash, I don’t carry a checkbook, and I didn’t see credit card kiosks either.)
The 2 mobile giving solutions that I used with those 2 churches::
And the other mobile donation solutions I know of with text-initiated giving::
And this is a problem worth solving, with lots of money at stake. (Aside: Yes, I’ve got plenty of other ideas that don’t involve money-making, and that doesn’t motivate other people to work on them.) While I may not yet be the average nonprofit donor, as an early adopter, I’m probably a good profile of the fastest-growing demographic of future donors that would give donations by smartphone.
Friction discourages giving, and those UX (user experience) experts and designers can tell you every extra click or field reduces results. The following are all hurdles that get in the way of mobile giving:
- installing an app – every extra app I have to install is making my smartphone (and on the vendor side, extra costs involved with maintaining apps on iOS and Android)
- creating a church account – I don’t want to have to remember another username and password
- entering my credit card number – I know the current solutions listed above require a credit card for digital payment, and what would be so much easier and more convenient is a secure & easy digital payment method that would just work and be commonly accepted by anyone; what if there was Venmo or Uber for making donations?
- not Apple Pay or proximity-based NFC – physical checkout isn’t the typical situation for giving a donation
I realize that getting an easy-and-secure commonly-used and mass adoption mobile payment method raises all kinds of complications with technology infrastructure and security and the challenge of gaining market adoption for yet another thing. And I’d say, that’s all the more reason for having a market-leader in mobile donation. Anyone know of a solution that fits what I’m describing here?
Aside: I’ve also listed other vendors for mobile giving, both by text and by app, at cf. Mobile Giving and Online Giving for Churches