Ask the Expert: Why Your Association Needs Mobile Credit Card Processing

By Callie Hinman

Over time, the number of tasks and duties you can complete via mobile devices has steadily grown. It started with the ability to check your email remotely and has evolved into the power to manage many of your association’s operations from the palm of your hand. Doesn’t it make sense to add managing payments to the list of things your smartphone can do for you?

Mobile credit card processing involves using an app to easily process credit and debit card payments on-the-go from anywhere with Wi-Fi. Accepting credit cards on mobile devices is not only convenient and easy, it also offers your association some pretty big benefits.

Increased Revenue

Since you can take credit and debit card payments anywhere, it means members, donors, and sponsors can pay you anywhere.

For example, say you’re talking to the owner of a local company and she decides she wants to sponsor an upcoming event. If you couldn’t accept mobile credit card payments, you’d have to wait until after the event to get her payment details. And between when the event ends and when you’re available to get her payment information, she may forget to reach out. Or circumstances could change and she may no longer be interested in becoming a sponsor. But with a mobile credit card processing system, you can secure the sponsorship and email her a receipt right away.

Similarly, say you’re hosting a fundraising event. Without the ability to take credit and debit cards, you’re limiting your pool of contributors to only attendees with cash or checks. And considering only about 50 percent of adults in the U.S. make sure they have cash on hand and less than 30 percent carry a checkbook, you’re narrowing that pool substantially. If you can accept mobile credit card payments, however, every attendee can use their preferred payment method.

Improved Member Experience

A key aspect of providing an exceptional member experience is being committed to meeting (and exceeding) the expectations of your members.

Outside of your association, your members are consumers. And thanks to technology, consumer expectations have grown considerably, particularly in terms of convenient payment options. As consumers, your members prefer doing business with companies that make paying for products and services as easy as possible. This means to foster loyalty, your association must follow suit.

According to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, debit and credit cards are the preferred payment method for in-person transactions, accounting for more than half of all in-person payments. There may be individuals who are willing to provide their credit or debit card information and authorize you to charge them later, but the potential security risks of having their details written down will likely deter many.

With a mobile credit card processing solution, on the other hand, you can instantly and – most importantly – securely charge a member’s credit or debit card. Not only can you take payments for one-off charges such as an event registration fee, accepting credit cards on mobile devices allows you to give members the ability to take care of any outstanding balances on the spot. They don’t have to worry about remembering to contact the association’s office later, and you don’t have to worry about following up.

Decreased Security Risks

Presumably, you avoid carrying large amounts of cash on you. But carrying a huge folder of paper checks and credit card slips from members and donors is just as risky.

If the documentation is damaged, you have to deal with the hassle (and potential embarrassment) of reaching out to the people who paid and asking them to send a new check or provide their credit card details again. Even worse, if these documents are lost, you have to inform members or donors their sensitive information is at risk of falling into the wrong hands. If that happens, you’ll probably have a hard time convincing them to mail another check or once more supply their credit card number.

But if you accept mobile credit card payments, you don’t have to worry about any of these unpleasant situations. High-quality mobile credit card processing solutions have advanced, end-to-end encryption and PCI Level 1-compliant technology that keep sensitive data safe from interception. The payment details are never locally stored on the mobile device; they are transmitted directly to your financial institution via the processor’s secure system. As a result, there’s no danger of payment information being lost or compromised.

Accepting mobile credit card payments is a major advantage for your association and something your members will certainly appreciate. Start driving more revenue and improving the member experience today with mobile credit card processing.

Callie Hinman is the content strategist for AffiniPay, a provider of online payment technology for professional services, associations, and nonprofits.

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