America has quite the plethora of churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious temples within its 50 providential states, and – while most exude an air of tranquility and maintain a façade of quiet contemplation – they are rather busy places. These buildings are not shut up after services, and left to sit for a week. Instead, they are open every day for worshippers to use in many different ways. The holy houses host wedding ceremonies, baptisms, coming-of-age ceremonies, and memorials. Their basements are home to classes for religious instruction on all matters of life – everything from children’s Sunday school to marriage counseling, parenting classes and even cooking. In some cases, the buildings are of great historical import, such as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, or the Touro Synagogue in Newport. The foundations that oversee these houses open them weekly – if not daily – to the public for tours and exhibitions. Though these buildings are old, they lead a very active lifestyle.
That lifestyle is not cheap, however. The buildings require constant maintenance to keep up with the flow of more and more people, and utilities must be paid for the lights and water to be on. The pastors, priests, rabbis, and imams who administer services must receive some form of compensation, as well as the secretaries responsible for booking appointments – both holy and secular in nature. Charities and providing community services can also dig into the pocketbooks of many religious institutions. Organizing and running soup kitchens, homeless shelters, childcare centers, and missions to Third World countries can wind up costing quite a pretty penny.
To cover the expenses of structural and administrative upkeep, as well as fund charitable programs and outreach, America’s houses of worship rely on donations from their followers and fees for rituals performed, building space rented, or tours given. The majority of worshippers will put cash or checks in the collection plate each week – although, some may prefer to tithe. People paying for ceremonial services, building rentals, and tours might also expect the institutions to accept credit cards, since that is how most folks pay for things these days. Having to process these different forms of payment can be tricky for religious groups, however. It is easy enough to deposit cash and checks in a bank account, but merchant credit card processing is another matter. This requires working with a payment processor to open a merchant account for credit card payment processing – as well as paying transaction fees and processing rates. It can be tough to determine which processor is going to be honest about costs, too – and pious institutions do not want to do business with the devious.
Charge.com is a payment processor dedicated to truth and clarity in the online payment processing industry. Clients pay the most affordable rates and have low transaction costs, and there are never any hidden fees or surprise application surcharges, either – because all expenses are determined at the time an account is opened. Deposits are quicker to arrive, too – most customers see their money put in within a few days –not a few weeks. Charge.com also has award-winning customer support, including providing free technology (in the form of credit card terminals), performing the technological set-ups, and making sure expert technical guidance is available 24/7/365. Charge.com can deliver online merchant services that are perfect for the routine business of operating a religious institution, as well. Such clients can opt to get a Virtual Terminal processing software that allows them to process all forms of payment except for cash, sets up recurring billing for tithers, sends invoices for ceremonial services, and keeps detailed records for legal purposes. It is almost like a match made in heaven.