Electronic Funds Transfer FAQ
Q. What is an EFT?
A. EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) is a simple and convenient way to make monthly or twice a month contributions to the parish by having your donations drafted from your checking or savings account on a regular and consistent basis. Your donation will be recorded in your parish contribution account as it always has been. In addition, you will see the debit amount and date of the debit reflected in your bank account. This direct charge to your bank will also eliminate postage costs for the parish and for you on those occasions that you would mail your donation to the parish. This service is provided free of charge by Centennial Bank.
It is our hope that you will prayerfully consider continuing your parish support by using the EFT method. It is strictly a voluntary program and if you choose not to participate, you will continue to receive envelopes as in the past.
Q. What are the options if I choose to participate in the EFT program?
A. The options for EFTs are: General Collections: drafted on the 5th and/or the 20
th of every month.
Special collections: drafted on the 20
th of each month except in those cases where there are two specific appeal collections in the same month. In those cases, the form will indicate which date each specific appeal collection will be drafted from your account.
Special collections include: specific appeals, the Building fund and the Education fund.
If you chose to participate in EFT, then you are encouraged to participate in both collections. One of the main benefits to the parish is the reduced costs achieved by not mailing parishioners envelopes. If you do not fully participate in the program, the Parish will be required to continue to send you all the envelopes.
Q. What are the major advantages of electronic giving by direct debit?
A. Direct debit is all about convenience for you and consistency for the church. Electronic giving eliminates frequent check writing and helps members stay on track with pledges even when they are unable to attend services. The church in turn benefits from much-needed donation consistency and a reduction in the volume of check and cash contributions that must be handled and manually processed in the church office.
Q. How does Direct Debit Giving work?
A. Contributions are transferred automatically from your checking or savings account to the church's bank account.
Q. How are my automatic contributions deducted and transferred?
A. First, you indicate the amount you wish to contribute by returning a signed authorization form to the church attaching a voided check. Contributions are then transferred through the Automatic Clearing House (ACH) network - the same network already used by families to make mortgage and utility payments, or to receive payroll earnings and Social Security income. Direct debit goes by other names, including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), automatic payment, or simply ACH.
Q. When will my contribution be debited from my account?
A. A debit to your account will occur each month on either the 5
st or 20
th day of the month, depending on which date you select in your authorization
Q. How will I keep track of contributions in my check register?
A. Since your contribution is made at a pre-established time, you simply record it in your check register on the appropriate date. Electronic contributions will appear on your bank statement.
Q. What can I use to prove I made a contribution?
A. Your bank statement will show an itemized list of electronic transactions that can be used as proof of your contributions. Also the parish will send you an end of the year statement of contribution.
Q. Is giving by direct debit risky?
A. It is certainly less risky than writing checks or carrying cash to church.
Q. How much does direct debit giving cost?
A. It costs you nothing and it costs the church nothing. The service is being provided free of charge to us by Centennial Bank.
Q. What if the EFT causes my account to be overdrawn?
A. The EFT withdrawal is treated just like a check and you would be charged an overdraft fee in the same manner.
How will scheduled special collections (i.e. Peter Pence, etc.) be handled?
A. There will be an optional form to complete where you will indicate in advance your donation for each special collection during a month. Otherwise, you could donate by cash/check on the weekend of the collection.
How will emergency relief donations handled?
A. Emergency relief donations will be handled by cash/check, the same as in the past.
Will I still need envelopes?
A. You will not need envelopes if you choose EFT
Can I still have my envelopes anyway?
A. Yes, but it would save the parish postage & printing costs, if you utilized EFT only.
Q. Would the Education or Building Fund donations be included in the monthly EFT?
A. If you wish to contribute to these funds, you would need to designate the amounts on our form. They would also be deducted from your bank each month.
Q. Do the EFT withdrawals have to be the same dollar amount every month and do they have to be deducted every month?
A. If you anticipate changing the amount of withdrawals frequently or not being able to continue on monthly basis, the EFT system is not for you. We would suggest you continue to utilize your envelopes.
Q. What if I want to increase my donation to the parish occasionally?
A. If circumstances occur where you wish to increase your donation but are not sure that you can continue the increased amount every month, you can always either write a check or place cash in an envelope for the additional amount.
To insure that you receive credit for a cash donation you should place your name & envelope number on the envelope.
Q. What if I try electronic giving by direct debit and don't like it?
A. You can cancel your authorization at any time by notifying the church. Depending on when you notify the parish, your debit could be stopped either for the current month or for next month.
Q. How can I sign up for electronic giving by direct debit?
A. To set up a recurring donation complete the required authorization form, attach a voided check and turn in to the church office.