Online Financial Tools

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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greenwoodkl
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Online Financial Tools

Postby greenwoodkl » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:10 pm

I know this may be a stretch... is there any possibility of a day where we'll be able to use an EFT or online bill-pay format to pay tithes and offerings? About the only thing I use my checkbook for these days is tithing or the rare payment to an individual. It would even be nice if there were also a way to have some general account number for my ward or some central account i could setup a percentage of my direct deposit to and have my employer send it for me. :) I forsee the issues of such a system being things such as security, transaction fees, limiting sources of payment to debit, electronic check, something not CREDIT - no debt for tithing ;)... Thoughts?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:09 am

Question: Would one receive the same blessings if tithing was set up via direct deposit? Yes, the same money is transfered, but it's done automatically without any thought on the part of the donor. This is not a technology question, or even a financial one, but a spiritual one. A part of me says that to receive the blessings, the donor has to make the conscious decision to donate each time. It's a matter of the task changing the person.

I kinda assumed that's why it hasn't be done already as it would probably increase the amount of tithing paid if members didn't forget. Just my 2¢.

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jmaxwilson
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Postby jmaxwilson » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:38 am

I have heard the same idea expressed by RussellHltn from others as well-- that an important part of paying tithing is the repeated decision and action of filling out of the donation slip and handing over the donation and that therefore the church will not accept tithing electronically. It is true there is something powerful about physical actions with interpersonal interactions and sacrifices. If I remember right, C.S. Lewis contended that the physical act of kneeling is an important act of submission during prayer; that we are _physical_ and spirit creatures and that therefore expressing submission physically was just as important as addressing God with words. Some have suggested that there is power in vocal prayer over mental communication for similar reasons. I think that is an important consideration.

At the same time, we have already transformed from the very physical tithe of the early restoration (bringing a tenth of our harvest or prize pig physically to the storehouse) to handing the bishop a small envelope containing a clutch of paper-bills, and from there to a single paper check. Is our tithe less meaningful now because we don't physically deliver a tenth of our chicken's eggs to the storehouse? Perhaps.

But I think that the principle is that we return to the Lord one tenth of our increase so that his servants can use it to build up the Kingdom. However the Church sees fit to accept that tithe is acceptable.

I know of one couple that uses the online bill pay feature with their credit union to send a tithing check payable to Church to their home address. The check arrives at their home in a few days, and they take it, and put it in a donation envelope, take it to church and hand it to the bishopric.

While an online electronic way of paying tithing would be very convenient and help me with budgeting, I am happy with whichever way the church decides is best for us spiritually and for the church financially.

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darthwader-p40
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Handling EFT for donations

Postby darthwader-p40 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:28 pm

I have had this question asked several times while serving as bishop of our ward... One workaround for this would be to have the people use tools found at banks and credit unions - called BillPay... They can set it up to have a check written out to their ward/branch and the address to deliver the check can be to their own home, when they receive the check they can place it in the donation envelope and specify where they want the funds allocated (tithing, fast offering, PEF, etc.)

This is not exactly EFT... But it is an option for the wired people of the new century!

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johnshaw
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EFT and Online Payment of Offerings is Available

Postby johnshaw » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:01 pm

I guess as I read my former post that it's not all that clear. YES the church has this functionality already. It is available and easy to setup. The link in my previous post will take you to documents needed to fill out to setup this process, or you can call the contact information at the bottom of the post to start using this functionality.

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:13 pm

I do see one side issue here as well, and that is the fees that are taken out of the donation by the bank or other issuing institution.

For example, a merchant who takes a card at the grocery store is charged a fee, usually a percentage of the transaction. That fee varies based on the volume of sales the merchant does. But it's always not less than a few percent and it could be more, much more depending on the card or card type used.

So some money, even if just a small percentage, that the member thinks would be going to the Church is easily going to wind up in the hands of his/her bank instead.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:27 pm

JamesAnderson wrote:I do see one side issue here as well, and that is the fees that are taken out of the donation by the bank or other issuing institution.

For example, a merchant who takes a card at the grocery store is charged a fee, usually a percentage of the transaction. That fee varies based on the volume of sales the merchant does. But it's always not less than a few percent and it could be more, much more depending on the card or card type used.

So some money, even if just a small percentage, that the member thinks would be going to the Church is easily going to wind up in the hands of his/her bank instead.


The Bill Pay services will transfer the amount specified in full to the payee. Now they might charge the account holder extra for the use of their transfer system. But some banks even offer this service for free to their users. From the forms I saw, any fee is completely based on the institution that you are using and the church recieves in full the amount you send.
- David

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johnshaw
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Fee's for Online Banking

Postby johnshaw » Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:43 am

JamesAnderson wrote:I do see one side issue here as well, and that is the fees that are taken out of the donation by the bank or other issuing institution.

For example, a merchant who takes a card at the grocery store is charged a fee, usually a percentage of the transaction. That fee varies based on the volume of sales the merchant does. But it's always not less than a few percent and it could be more, much more depending on the card or card type used.

So some money, even if just a small percentage, that the member thinks would be going to the Church is easily going to wind up in the hands of his/her bank instead.


If you are being charged a fee for online banking, change banks, there are plenty out there that included it for free.

HansenSD
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Tithing and Fast Offerings

Postby HansenSD » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:31 am

Fast offering and tithing donations go to the church not the ward. They are "swepped" each week from the wards to the church general funds. That might be an over simplification but the intent is the same. The money the bishop might use for welfare is taken from church funds not ward or stake that don't exist. So it makes little difference whether you pay the money directly to headquarters. However, paying fast directly removes the need for the Deacons to come to your home to collect. You might want to continue to provide this opportunity for them to serve.

tedarchdeacon
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Postby tedarchdeacon » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:37 am

Will the Bishop have a record of tithing paid directly to headquarters?


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