Automatic Payments

Discussions about the Online Donation system.
chriswoodut
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby chriswoodut » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:11 pm

davesudweeks wrote:You are correct that normally the bishop will hand it off to the clerk (I am the ward clerk in my ward). However, using this method is still not advised in my opinion.

The financial audits and controls are all based on making sure the money consecrated to the Lord is handled appropriately and as designated by the donor. When one hands off the responsibility of filling out the donation slip to a member of the bishopric or the clerk, how can one be sure their donation is handled as designated? If a question were to arise, we would go to the donation slip to make sure the donation was recorded as specified (with the assumption that the slip was filed out by the member).

I just completed working through a scenario like this over the past two years with a check, mailed to the bishop from a family outside of our ward, with instructions that the donor had to be kept anonymous to the missionary's family (the father was also a member of the bishopric). Every month we had to play musical chairs in the clerk's office to comply. Personally, I'm glad we don't have to deal with that every month now.


If it is against a rule to fill out the slip when one doesn't exist due to bill pay being used, then feel free to reference it. It may not be the ideal situation but there's a practicality that comes up in certain situations. In this scenario, I have no idea if the father is a member or active or has an lds.org account. My goal is make it as easy as possible for the family to make the donation (within reason).

davesudweeks
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby davesudweeks » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:50 pm

I am not trying to be argumentative, but based on the instructions under receiving donations (LCR | Help | Help Center | Record Keeping | Finance | Donations | Receive Donations), I believe the practice of having a check mailed to the bishop without a donation slip included is not in harmony with the Policy and Principles (see third paragraph, first sentence). The next paragraph specifies how automatic bill pay should be handled.

That said, your bishop should direct how he wants to handle your situation. He has the mantle.

russellhltn
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:49 am

chriswoodut wrote:I suggested that as an alternative. It will end up being a clerk that fills out the slip, not the bishop, so for the Bishop he just needs to get the check to us.

Seems like the method is an attempt to make it convenient for someone, but just makes it inconvenient for someone else.
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drepouille
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby drepouille » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:46 am

As a member of the stake audit committee, my personal opinion is that if the bishop receives a check without a donation slip, then he, his counselor, or his clerk should contact the member to verify which donation category/categories the member desired. If they do that consistently, eventually the member will get tired of the phone calls and conversations, and switch to a more standard method of making donations.

Again, in my opinion, the bishopric and clerks should never assume the donation was meant for tithing, fast offering, or missionary support. That is the purpose of the donation slip. Receiving a check in the mail without a donation slip should be treated the same as receiving a check in a grey donation envelope without a donation slip -- contact the member.

When I was stake clerk long ago, the stake would often receive checks from wards and branches, with no other paperwork in the envelope. Even though the memo on the check said "YW Camp" I would still have to manually complete a donation slip to include with the batch (for audit purposes). Then I would send the yellow copy of the donation slip back to the ward that printed the check, with a reminder that it is their job to complete the donation slip, and include the white copy with the check. (This is all OBE now that paperless transfers between units is the standard process.)
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Ricksgrad80s
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby Ricksgrad80s » Mon May 21, 2018 8:04 pm

I find it hard to believe that although we have direct internet access to make donations to the church, I can't set up an automatic monthly donation to fund my daughter's mission. This is extremely inconvenient and I'm more than likely to forget to make a monthly donation on time, especially since we live in different wards. If I don't want to have to worry about forgetting to make periodic payments, my only option is to pay for her entire mission up front.

Why can't or won't the the church allow automatic payments for missionaries? When I served in the 80s, my family was required to deposit $100 a month in an account the church created for me at Zions bank. To comply with that system, my parents set up an automatic transfer from their local bank to Zions bank. So over three decades ago we could set up automatic payments, yet now that we have the internet and direct access to making donations online, there isn't an option to set up an automatic recurring payment for missionaries.

So Church Financial Department or whoever is responsible for this policy, please add my vote to implement this capability. I'm sure you've had a few thousand requests for it over the years, and you'll get plenty more until you implement this!

jonesrk
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby jonesrk » Mon May 21, 2018 9:15 pm

Ricksgrad80s wrote:...I can't set up an automatic monthly donation to fund my daughter's mission. This is extremely inconvenient and I'm more than likely to forget to make a monthly donation on time, especially since we live in different wards. If I don't want to have to worry about forgetting to make periodic payments, my only option is to pay for her entire mission up front.

One thing you can do until they add this feature is to set a monthly reminder on your calendar of choice. Yes you will still have the manual step of actually creating the donation, but that way you won't forget and it is pretty fast, especially if you just reuse the previous mission donation.
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scgallafent
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby scgallafent » Mon May 21, 2018 9:20 pm

Ricksgrad80s wrote:So Church Financial Department or whoever is responsible for this policy, please add my vote to implement this capability. I'm sure you've had a few thousand requests for it over the years, and you'll get plenty more until you implement this!

You might also consider that the Church finance department may have had a few thousand requests for it and, for whatever reason, has made a specific, purposeful decision not to implement that functionality.

pahollow
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby pahollow » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:10 pm

Currently in Australia we have BPAY (see https://www.bpay.com.au/) which allows great flexibility in periodic or scheduled payments via online banking using a biller code and unique reference. It is my understanding that this does cost the Church a fee to participate in but is helpful to the Saints.

I suggest that until and unless some type of automated payment method is in place that the BPAY option remains as a donation option. I have another son who will serve a mission in the next year or two and would like to know that we can make smaller regular payments. Here in Australia this is called "bill smoothing" and allows us to budget appropriately by looking at how much bills are annually then divide by 26 (fortnights) or 52 (weeks) to determine how we budget. The Church's teaching on budgeting is sound and helpful (see https://www.lds.org/search?q=budgeting& ... omains=all) however, this limitation seems inconsistent with the doctrine of provident living (see https://www.lds.org/topics/family-finances?lang=eng). Please leave existing electronic payment methods in place until or unless such an option is available through Online Donations. When the law of consecration is introduced, making payments directly to the Church would be better framed with the option to schedule our income in some type of organised way...just saying!

jimstancombe
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby jimstancombe » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:38 am

Hi,

I don’t understand the rationale behind not enabling automatic/recurring payments. We can do this now via BPay in Australia. I assume over 75% of members receive a fixed income for the majority of the year. This new change feels like a step backwards (e.g introduction of new technology that makes a process less user friendly!). Am keen to understand the rationale?

Jim

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johnshaw
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Re: Automatic Payments

Postby johnshaw » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:43 pm

Ricksgrad80s wrote:I find it hard to believe that although we have direct internet access to make donations to the church, I can't set up an automatic monthly donation to fund my daughter's mission. This is extremely inconvenient and I'm more than likely to forget to make a monthly donation on time, especially since we live in different wards. If I don't want to have to worry about forgetting to make periodic payments, my only option is to pay for her entire mission up front.

Why can't or won't the the church allow automatic payments for missionaries? When I served in the 80s, my family was required to deposit $100 a month in an account the church created for me at Zions bank. To comply with that system, my parents set up an automatic transfer from their local bank to Zions bank. So over three decades ago we could set up automatic payments, yet now that we have the internet and direct access to making donations online, there isn't an option to set up an automatic recurring payment for missionaries.

So Church Financial Department or whoever is responsible for this policy, please add my vote to implement this capability. I'm sure you've had a few thousand requests for it over the years, and you'll get plenty more until you implement this!


You can search back across this board and see this discussed at length many times. There are members of the church who believe in their heart of hearts that a recurring payment DOES NOT EQUAL a donation made in faith. And since the automatic/recurring payment wasn't put into the online system, you can bet that MANY in the CHQ/COB also believe the same thing. It is inexplicable to me, as it is to others on this board, but STRONG feelings exist that an act of charity, an act of faith can't be scheduled every 2 weeks as you receive a paycheck......

To me it's very interesting. If I were doing it every two weeks manually, it's likely I'd skip one or two here or there, nothing in my end year review is going to catch that because as a human, and in my head I think of myself as a full-tithe payer, so at Tithing Settlement I'd say, yes to are you a full tithe payer. On the other hand, if it was automatic, I'd feel the same way, and not have ever skipped a pay period. I'd almost think that favoring the other option would be better for everyone involved.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


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