Churches throughout the U.S. depend on contributions from their members to keep their doors open, pay salaries to church employees, run religious schools and donate to charitable causes. While some churches have embraced technology and even accept donations by debit or credit cards from their parishioners’ mobile devices or kiosks in their lobbies, many churches still rely on accepting paper checks and cash for donations from offering plates as well as donations that are dropped off at the church office or sent in the mail.
Churches that handle a lot of cash and check payments have a high risk of being targeted by thieves. They may benefit by updating their antiquated systems and turning to paperless systems like church debit cards to help to prevent themselves from being victimized by internal and external fraud schemes.
What is a church prepaid card?
A prepaid card for churches is different than a church credit card in several important ways. Approval for a prepaid card from Bento for Business does not depend on your credit, which means that the application process will not have any effect on your personal credit score. To be approved for church credit cards, by contrast, your credit will be checked. Every time that your credit is checked by a potential creditor, your credit score is impacted. Prepaid cards do not charge you interest against your balances on the cards since the money is the church’s money rather than the creditors.
Your church also will not be assessed high annual fees. Instead, you can order up to 10 cards for the employees of the church to use for their jobs for a low monthly cost of $29. You can decide how much money your church will deposit into its account and how much from that account to use to fund each card.
What are the benefits and disadvantages of using a church prepaid card?
There are several benefits to choosing church debit cards to manage your church’s expenses. The debit cards from Bento for Business cannot be used to withdraw cash, and they allow your church’s board to set limits on how much each person is able to spend per day. You can also restrict the types of items that each employee can buy with his or her card.
For example, you can limit the expenditures that your church secretary can make to such things as new office supplies or printer ink during his or her working hours. When the church secretary is off of work, you can turn their prepaid church card off. If they try to buy something that you have not authorized with the card, the purchase will be declined at the point of sale. This ability to exert purchase and expense controls at the transaction level provides great protection against church fraud and embezzlement.
How can prepaid church cards help to prevent church fraud?
Church fraud is a big problem in the U.S. and is underreported. Switching to debit cards for your church’s expenditures may help to prevent church fraud in several ways. The ability to place restrictions on what can be purchased with each card and the amounts that can be spent can greatly reduce the risks of fraud. If you use the cards to make all of the purchases for the church, you may be able to prevent fraud completely by preventing your church employees from accessing the church’s accounts and money.
When might a church prepaid card make a difference?
Church debit cards can make a difference when they are used in place of paper payment systems to make all of the purchases for the church. The church board can log into its own dashboard to view the expenditures that each employee has made. If something appears to be amiss, the church board can turn off the card and address the issue with the employee. Churches of every size may benefit, but smaller churches that do not have the means to have internal accounting departments may benefit the most.
Prepaid church cards can help to stop fraud and abuse so that your church can spend the money that it receives on its important work. To learn more about how switching to debit cards might benefit your church, call Bento for Business today at 866.220.8455 or try our free 60-day trial.