There’s been some excellent talk recently in the nonprofit community about how difficult it can be for some nonprofits to gain access to credit card information.
Many companies use the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) as a barrier to allowing organizations to make changes to how collected credit cards are processed. Considering it’s a best practice to migrate donors from one-time cash gifts to monthly giving programs, this can be a huge pain for anyone that is looking to make an improvement in any part of the processing chain.
Former public software companies I had worked for in this space charged the customer (and still do, I believe) to get a full export of data from their hosted system. From very early on, I knew we should be different, so we included a button right in our application to download all of your data – including credit card tokens. Bloomerang was founded from day one with Terms & Conditions that very clearly state YOU own your data.
Finally, this isn’t limited just to database vendors. Credit card processors/gateways/merchants can be just as greedy. Let’s say you start a monthly giving program and your processor decides to raise their processing rate. If you can’t transfer your cards from that vendor, you’re stuck with their increased pricing!
At Bloomerang, we even have you covered there. We went to extra lengths to use a third party vault so that our customers have the flexibility to redirect any or all of their recurring donations to a different payment processor if needed.
After all, they’re your donors – shouldn’t your credit card payment vendor be your choice?
Ross Hendrickson is a co-founder and the CEO of Bloomerang. Prior to co-founding Bloomerang, he served as Product Manager for Bostech Corporation and later Avectra. Ross serves on the Horizon Council, the young professionals leadership council of the Indianapolis-based nonprofit Conner Prairie. He graduated with a B.S. in Economics & Engineering Science from Vanderbilt University.