UPDATE 3 Sept 2015: The church has released this to all of the US. To use it go to: https://www.lds.org/donations/
Here’s the instructional video you’ll have the option to watch, the first time you visit that page:
Original Post Below
We don’t usually do “breaking news” type articles. In this case we’ll make an exception. A month ago I posted a screenshot and some information about a new way to pay your tithing through your LDS.org account. It’s in “invite-only-beta” status and only 1 stake (as far as we know) was using it. Though I trusted my source, and received confirmation through other channels, many of the larger LDS-news sites wouldn’t repost or reshare the information because it wasn’t officially confirmed. Fortunately a lot of you were as excited about it as we were, and spread the word by sharing and resharing it on Facebook (thanks for that).
Well, now it’s official! A few days ago, the Church quietly pushed out a new document with instructions on how to use the new online donation payment system. It confirms that it’s in Beta and only available to a few. But it also proves that our screenshot and other information was accurate.
There’s a few more interesting tidbits in the document as well, mostly in the FAQ section at the end:
- Everything is done via EFT (ACH), no debit/credit card payments, as we said before .
- No refunds of any kind. But if you put something in the wrong place, your Ward Clerk can correct it.
- Fast offerings “stay” in your local unit as if you’d donated the traditional way.
- The Bishopric can see your donations and such, just like before.
- You can add your spouse’s name to the reports, but it’s tied to your membership record number.
- Minimum contribution is $1.
- You can make missionary donations to another ward/branch, but will need the unit number.
- There are NO automatic, recurring donations. You can reuse all the same settings as a previous donation, to repeat it in a few clicks.
New LDS.org payments vs old BillPay payment methods
When we announced this a month ago, many people said “I already do that.” They were thinking of the BillPay method that we posted about years ago. Question 13 of the FAQ addresses the difference for any who might still be confused:
Q13. What is the difference between Online Donations and my bank’s bill pay?
A13. Online Donations is a way for the Church to receive donations directly from your bank account, using the online donation slip to provide your desired category breakdown. Online Donations has more categories to select. Bill pay directly to Church headquarters requires you to use your bank’s program and enter a specific payee to select one of the general donation categories. It also requires donors to manually enter their member record number, which increases the likelihood of errors occurring. Online Donations is the preferred electronic method for donating to the Church.
UPDATE: the Church officially announced the new donation system, yesterday. Here’s the screenshots they provided:
What do you think of the new screenshots? Anything unexpected here?