Revolutionary Changes in Drafting ACH Transactions

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Looking for ways to improve retention and increase revenue? Any Association Foundation or nonprofit organization that keeps afloat through voluntary contributions knows that regular pledge payments are much more efficient than individual donations solicited through direct mail or email campaigns—but the process of setting up and drafting ACH transactions can be laborious,

There are a number of advantages to using a system designed specifically for association foundations, rather than solely utilizing the cumbersome, “one size doesn’t really fit all” batch file program that most banks offer for recurring ACH transactions.

First, all the donor or customer’s information is linked to the payments themselves, in one system, which allows for easy access of up to date payment information. There is no need to key transactions into your database for each payment, since the historical payment updates happen automatically.

With ACH standards for merchant output files, there will be no opportunities for staff confusion about the appropriate credit for payments made or keying errors in amounts.


Looking for ways to obtain better revenue and increase retention?

Second, customers can have multiple payment accounts, which allows them to both pay for a PAC contribution or regular dues payment and continue their quarterly pledge, without the two processes becoming accidentally connected, confused or conflated. This also allows customers to choose different payment types for each transaction. Furthermore, individual payments can automatically draft against dues and subscription billings, pledge commitments, or conference registrations.

Also, your organization can draft into multiple merchant accounts, which allows you to properly keep donation payments separate from dues and other business type transactions. Perhaps best of all, customers will receive maximum flexibility. They can make payments toward multiple accounts with one transaction and easily view historical payment details.

Are you ready to transform your ACH transaction processes? Contact us today to learn more.


What No One Tells You About PCI Compliance

What No One Tells You About PCI Compliance

What No One Tells You About PCI Compliance

Let’s face it. Credit Cards are a normal part of everyday life for most individuals and business today. Adhering to PCI compliance should be a part of your associations business processes as well. In the Nonprofit community you typically have organizations who except credit cards by their members for dues, donations, events, orders, & training sessions etc. Further, Associations and their foundations are in the difficult position of having to stay afloat on a revenue stream that requires a steady stream of donations as well as sustaining members.

Unlike a strictly commercial entity, they experience the precarious balance of having to maintain private financial information while also being open to transparency over who is donating and how much.

This is one reason why the right database software is so crucial in helping non-profits meet and maintain their secure donor and member goals. The lynch pin of that security is typically the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The PCI standard is technical as well as procedural, breaking down all the necessary components of sensitive card security into key areas:

Build and Maintain a Secure Network 

The standard enforces physical configuration such as firewalls and the most crucial practices network security such as password protection. For example, vendor supplied defaults for system passwords are not acceptable.

Protect Cardholder Data 

Cardholder data must be kept private by the highest secure means, in a secure vault or PCI compliant database. And, any transmission of such data across public networks requires effective encryption.

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program 

Regularly maintained and updated anti-virus programs are essential, and any software, custom or third-party, that interfaces with the data must protect it to the highest standards.

Implement Strong Access Control Measures 

As personnel are often the most vulnerable point of attack with data intrusion, access must be controlled with the greatest measures in system-level security, sensitive data policies, and training. Access must be on a need-to-know basis and protected with both system permissions/access controls and with physical security such as RFID.

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

All of the measures listed above require effective monitoring and regular tests of security processes.

Maintain an Information Security Policy

All security procedures must be effectively maintained, documented, and understood by personnel. In short, your Donors and Members of non-profit causes deserve the peace of mind knowing that their financial data is safe.

We have worked with hundreds of organizations who utilize our drafting tool, AutoDraft, who have taken the necessary steps to ensure compliance of members and donors valuable financial data. If you would like to talk to us about our experience with database & PCI compliance Contact us to learn more. Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.