Make sound decisions about charitable giving

Americans are the most generous donors in the world, and, on average, households in South Dakota and Minnesota generously gave 4.1 percent of discretionary income to charity.

Here is some information to help you make sound decisions about charitable giving:

Before giving to any charity, ask yourself: What’s my realistic budget for charitable contributions? What really inspires me and how can I make the greatest impact?

In order for the donor to receive a tax deduction for a donation, the charity must be a qualified 501(c)3 organization. The I.R.S. has a searchable database of charities where you can verify that the organization holds this status.

The Better Business Bureau’s The BBB Wise Giving Alliance provides a national-level seal of approval with its Standards for Charity Accountability. There are 20 standards that a charity must satisfy. If some standards are not met, consumers will see that in the charity’s listing. In addition, the BBB states that a charitable organization should spend at least 65 percent of its money on program activities — that is, activities directly related to its cause.

Charity Navigator and Guidestar are two online sources of information about the structure and performance of many nonprofit organizations.

Never make a donation to a telephone solicitor. The solicitor might not even be legitimate. Telephone charity scams use names similar to those of well-known organizations, or they may say they are raising money for causes that tug at the heartstrings, such as supporting military families, veterans or police officers. In reality, your money will be used simply to profit the person calling.

Email and social media scams and misinformation abound. Before clicking on a link or forwarding information, do some research at the sites listed above or www.snopes.com, a fact-checking and Internet reference source.

Mailed donation requests may also be fraudulent; do your homework before giving.

You can make a greater impact by making your donation part of a matching program. Does your employer make a matching donation? Is there another matching option, for example, during a telethon, on giving Tuesday or a donation drive?

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Explore the possibilities for Faster Payments

  • Attract and retain a younger demographic.
  • Increased cash flow for business accounts.
  • Tokenized transactions.
  • Integration with AML and OFAC

Explore the possibilities available with the FIS “Real-Time Payment Incubator.”

In October 2012, the Federal Reserve announced its focus on improving the speed and efficiency of the U.S. payment system while maintaining a high level of safety and accessibility. Five years later, real-time payments enable payment processes that occur seamlessly and immediately.

  • Beginning September 15, 2017, Same-Day ACH (Automated Clearing House) was enabled for debit entries which provided the opportunity for same-day processing of virtually any ACH payment. Beginning March 16, 2018, Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) will be mandated to make funds available from same-day ACH credits (such as payroll Direct Deposits) by 5pm local time.
  • On November 13, 2017 the Real-Time Payments system, set up by The Clearing House (an ACH operator) was used to make a transfer between accounts at two different banks. In addition to moving funds, the first transaction also carried sales and invoicing data.
  • With innovative person-to-person (P2P) payment solutions being launched worldwide, everybody can become a merchant. From garage sales and street markets, to paying the plumber or decorator, instant P2P payments open up a world of possibilities. The ability to pull payments from customers allows the service seller to add remittance data to payments.

For financial institutions, revenue is realized from increased card-based payment volume and operational expenses are reduced as other payment methods are streamlined or replaced.

FIS Global, the processor for The Advantage Network, now offers a “Real-Time Payment Incubator” to Advantage member institutions. Explore the possibilities available for offering real-time solutions to your cardholders with no up-front costs, a short implementation timeline (4-6 months), and innovative strategies that take advantage of a variety of products and solutions.

For more information about the Real-time Payment Incubator and all Advantage products, contact Brady Daly at 605-335-5192 or [email protected]

 

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Cash Popularity and Your ATMs

Contradicting proclamations that the world will become cashless and fully digital in the near future, cash is still the most commonly used form of payment according to the Cardtronics 2017 Health of Cash study:

  • Cash and debit are more frequently used for in-store purchases.
  • People still mostly prefer to give and receive monetary gifts with cash.
  • Cash payment is preferred in fast food restaurants and bars.
  • 68% of people use cash for purchases under $10.
  • Cash leads in charitable giving and checks remain a leading form of payment in this area.
  • 68% of those surveyed prefer cards or digital payments but specifically keep cash in their wallet as back-up form of payment and use it regularly.
  • Survey participants said they use cash because they value these attributes in payment methods: Convenience, Safety, Ease and Privacy.
  • Participants revealed that using cash helps them stay on budget because it “feels more real than other forms of payment.”

This is good news for ATM owners, who earn surcharge and network fee income on transactions at their ATMs. Beyond dispensing cash, each ATM also

  • generates income and reduces teller expense while providing convenience to cardholders and other ATM users.
  • serves as a public-facing representative of your financial institution.
  • is a marketing tool you can brand with external signage and customize with screen messages and graphics.

How can you maximize the potential of your ATM(s)? See below for some suggestions from Advantage.

1.    Purchase an ATM that best serves the needs of your institution, your cardholders and the public according to location. Will a cash dispenser suffice or will you install a full-service ATM or even an ITM (Interactive Teller Machine)? What telecom method will you use? Will it be located indoors or out? Has the location been predetermined or are you contemplating a move or addition of an ATM?

2.    Monitor “up” time so the ATM is available for use by providing software updates and equipment maintenance as needed. Fill cash regularly; use Self-Service Gateway to look up cash balances. Review and update your fault response process including contact information and contact timeframes.

3.    Perform exterior maintenance to keep the ATM clean and approachable. Make sure the area is well lit.

4.    Consider upgrading your ATM to attract more usage by adding services such as Fast Cash, Cardholder Preferences or Cardless Cash.

5.    Review data available to understand and influence cardholder behavior, increase usage and enhance profitability. Here are some questions you can ask in your research:

  • Is the surcharge at each ATM appropriate? (Surcharges can be set individually for each ATM.
  • Are your cardholders using your ATM(s) or foreign ATMs?
  • Are service fees for your cardholders using other ATMs appropriate? Your estimated average cost per transaction as an issuer for your cardholders using

– an Advantage ATM: $0.533

– an Allpoint ATM: $0.778

– your ATM: $0.06.

6.    Evaluate the location of your ATM(s). Is an ATM in the right location but needs more promotion?

7.    Do you market and promote your ATM locations? Advantage locations? Allpoint locations? Use StarView Settlement Manager reports to assist your research.

  • 3242E-04: Monthly Acquirer Summary by Terminal. “Not On Us” transactions are Advantage cardholders.
  • 3242E-08: Monthly Acquirer Summary- all Terminals. “Not On Us” transactions are Advantage cardholders.
  • 3245E: Monthly Surcharge Totals (Acquirer report; all ATMs listed individually)
  • 0431E: (Issuer) Daily Foreign Surcharge Report. Surcharges your cardholders paid for withdrawals listed by card number; does not include Visa transactions. (Used to target cardholders who are not using your ATMs.)
  • 3212E: Monthly Issuer Summary. “On Us” transactions are your cardholders at your ATM(s)
  • 3471E-00: Monthly Foreign ATM Usage Report. (Top 10 or 25 foreign ATMs your cardholders used.)

8.    What factors can you consider to determine profitability of your ATM(s)?

·   Income and expenses reported on Advantage invoice

·   Quarterly statistics provided by Advantage

·   Operating Supplies

·   Cost of Cash

·   Communication Costs

·   Security/Alarm Costs

·   Personnel Costs

·   Maintenance Contracts.

You may decide that certain ATMs do not need to be profitable if they fulfill a need for the location, give your institution a presence in the market, or serve a need for cash access in a market.

Hopefully this information will help you with evaluating your ATM program. If you need any assistance, we are more than happy to assist you! For more information contact Karen Powell at 605-335-5103 or [email protected]