Let's Talk Mobile Commerce

Mobile CommerceMobile Internet revenue will hit $700 billion annually in less than three years, according to the research firm, Digit-Capital. The keys to this explosive mobile growth are mobile donations, mobile shopping, mobile advertising, and in-app purchases. Mobile donations and mobile shopping are leading this growth with mobile shopping vastly outpacing all other categories. As we continue to thrive in the digital age, there are many people coming to church who don’t carry a checkbook. This new approach to managing finances has given the church an opportunity to embrace new, convenient ways to allow their members to support the ministry financially. One method that is growing quickly is giving via mobile devices.

Text-to-Give Since we carry our mobile devices with us everywhere, they are great ways to stay connected and support online giving. One of the important giving methods is Text-to-Give. One of the most important benefits of implementing a text-to-give program is the abundance of smart phones that people have nowadays. Received texts are opened 98% of the time. This is one of the most reliable communication methods available today.

Text-to-give is the process of using texting as a way to give a set amount to your church. Usually, the process begins with you texting a keyword (“Give,”) and an amount (“50”) to a short code such as “313131” (Give 50 to 313131). This allows the online text-to-give software to capture the cell phone number and dollar amount from your device and associate your device with a mobile giving account. Lastly, the software may send you a link to set up an online profile and store your credit card information for even faster SMS transactions in the future.

Additional benefits of a text-to-give program are the options that can be featured such as recurring automatic giving, advanced security, recorded giving history, email receipts, and more. How can you implement this? Well, a great provider for this is Securegive.com.

Mobile App Giving In Chapter 5, we will get more into the Mobile App aspect of The iChurch Method, but let’s look at the giving/eCommerce aspect of mobile apps. If your church or ministry has a mobile app, it’s a good option to have a donation tab or button. Once the donation button is tapped, a nice, mobile friendly donation form should appear, allowing people to easily donate in a few step. But, there is one caveat.

When you are doing any type of financial transaction inside an iOS (Apple) app, Apple will take 30% of the transaction! Android (Google) does not have this stipulation for their apps, but, unfortunately, Apple does. For financial transactions, the way to get around this restriction is to send people to a website outside of the app for them to complete the transaction there. Make sure to read the “Mobile” chapter to learn more about the mobile app options that will help take your organization to the next level.

Apple Pay / Google Wallet These built-in digital wallets are becoming the new way to conduct transactions. Whether it’s an Apple iPhone or a Google Android phone, you can store your credit card information in your digital wallet and simply wave your phone at a preset terminal to complete a transaction. Walgreens is a great example of this. They accept Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Churches can get terminals that are enabled with Google Wallet and Apple Pay capabilities for sales of after-service products and even donations.

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