The world seems to be moving at lightning speed. The days of passing an offering plate to collect cash and paper checks are pretty much obsolete. With this shift to more convenient ways to tithe like text-to-give, online giving, and in-app donations, the security of user information has to be top-of-mind.
But how do you know what is truly “secure” and why is prioritizing security a key part of stewarding your church’s resources?
Safe Giving Options
47% of Americans experienced financial identity theft in 2020 and among the top five kinds of theft were online shopping and payment account fraud. Protecting your identity and credit card information has become a necessity for everyone. The last place anyone should be remotely worried about their data being stolen is at church.
Nonprofits and churches alike are (and should be) characterized by trustworthiness. The members of your church don’t just tithe because God tells them to do so, they also give because they trust you to steward their resources well. And part of good stewardship is protecting their data.
Just like in the days when you made sure there were always multiple ushers tallying up the weekly tithes, it’s wise to do your homework to make sure the electronic giving solution you offer is secure.
How to Know if Giving Software is Secure
You don’t have to be an expert in online security or know all the lingo and latest vulnerabilities in fraud, but an easy way to confirm security is to check to make sure the system you have is a PCI-Compliant Service Provider (like One Church Software). PCI stands for Payment Card Industry and they represent the highest set of security standards in the industry.
You should also check into the level of encryption any giving software offers. In short, encryptions are when your data is changed to a code that can only be read when you have the “key.” The higher the number of bits, the tougher it is to crack the key to get access to the data. Back when encryptions were first introduced, it was common to see 56-bit encryption. To compare, One Church Software uses 256-bit encryption, the strongest form of protection you can find in the industry today.
Additionally, here are some security measures we take pride in prioritizing:
- Data is backed up every night to servers across the globe and redundantly stored securely. We store up to 6 months worth of back-ups.
- We run server scans and perform penetration tests regularly.
- User passwords are one-way hashed and salted so no one but the user knows what it is (not even we know what it is).
- All access to the system is controlled via a robust and flexible permissions system so users can only see and edit data they are allowed to.
When it comes to your church’s giving, it’s important to pick a ChMS (Church Management Software) that takes security and stewardship just as seriously as you do. It’s an investment to protect personal, credit card, and bank information; however, when it comes to giving faithfully, secure solutions also provide the confidence and assurance of safety to each one of your members.
We know taking the step to start using a church management software can feel like a big one. Our team has worked with hundreds of churches and church leaders to help make the switch. If you aren’t sure if your church’s electronic giving solution is currently secure or would like to find out how One Church Software would support your ministry, give us a call at 855.932.2060 or watch a software demo at your own pace.