As more people rely solely on digital payment methods, charity organizations that have traditionally been cash-only are feeling left behind. The July edition of the Developer Tracker™ features an interview with DipJar CIO Chris Whatley on how going digital can turn donations into an impulse purchase — with benefits.
Advancing technologies have made it possible to perform all the payments you need from the tap of a mobile device or the swipe of a card. When people just don’t have cash on hand, it can be a challenge for charities and nonprofits, which often rely on cash-based giving.
Rather than there being limitations on when and how people can donate when they don’t have cash, DipJar is facilitating generosity by using the form of payment we use most today: magnetic stripe credit and debit cards.
People just don’t use cash anymore, leaving many merchants and organizations at risk of missing out on a payment opportunity.
DipJar is a combined hardware and software service platform that enables impulsive and on-the-spot giving using payment cards. The countertop DipJar device allows a giver to dip their card in a one-step transaction and instantly pay a donation amount.
“The platform is centered on the idea that a preset donation amount reduces the decision of the giver to simply a ‘yes or no’ question without the complexity of ‘how much?’ Its one-step simplicity allows the charity staff to be more interactive with the givers and not get distracted with dongles and apps,” DipJar Chief Information Officer Chris Whatley explained.
Whatley noted that the payment solution has enabled many charities to accept credit cards, including the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, which uses DipJar in both a retail setting to collect money for itself and to collect money at events, and The Salvation Army, which uses branded DipJars for various campaigns.
Although the electronic tip jar company is focused primarily on the charity and nonprofit sector, DipJar can also be used in the quick-service restaurant environment and sit on the counter next to the cash tip jar.
But as a payment facilitator, DipJar faced challenges in its desire to not only accept payments from givers but also to ensure those payments are paid to the beneficiary. In order to function completely outside of an existing payments processing system, the company had to build out a payments infrastructure that met all of the necessary compliance standards and requirements to safely process the transactions.
“Payment facilitation in general is not very straightforward. You are onboarding your customers as merchants, managing the intake of funds and then disbursing funds out to them,” Whatley said. “There are a lot of moving parts.”
He pointed out that DipJar’s integration with Vantiv enabled it to operate as a payment facilitator but on a smaller scale. As a participant in Vantiv O.N.E. (One Network Experience), Vantiv’s newly launched developer community, DipJar has access to a single destination of resources that provide personalized expertise and integration tools.
“We did not have the deepest experience in payments at the beginning, but Vantiv really educated us on the complexities and helped us every step of the way,” Whatley noted.
As Vantiv’s longstanding developer platform has evolved, it will now be branded Vantiv O.N.E. and be available for all developers, large and small, to help face the challenges that come with payments integration. The new network features three key value-added features: TechTools (integration tools), TechLift (payments guidance and hands-on support) and TechTribe (developer community).
“Unless you are integrating payments every day, it is almost impossible to stay on top of all the regulations, security threats and new technologies occurring in the industry,” stated Matt Taylor, group president of integrated payments and emerging channels at Vantiv. “We like to say that Vantiv O.N.E. provides payment integration without all the nights and weekends.”
Whatley added that being able to interact with transactional APIs within TechTools and the personalized service from the TechLift offerings made it easier for DipJar to figure out the best way to build out the payments piece of its solution. Through the community portal, DipJar was also able to see examples of how other developers are approaching payments and receive feedback from some of the core developers on the platform, he noted.
Looking forward, DipJar will continue to help the organizations and merchants it serves to keep pace with the advancing technologies across the payments landscape.
Whatley said the company has Samsung Pay in the works. It will also continue to evaluate NFC and Apple Pay, but the level of integration will require additional updates to its hardware platform.
“We’re really in an incremental mode right now and focusing on improving and expanding the offerings that we have through our dashboard,” he said.
“On the omnichannel side of things, what’s great about Vantiv O.N.E is that it has the tools and support for us to establish an omnichannel offering. We don’t feel like there’s any concern whatsoever about being able to get there with our current relationship.”
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About The Tracker
The PYMNTS.com Developer Tracker™, powered by Vantiv, provides the payments ecosystem with a view into how software developers are using new technologies to create innovative business opportunities and enable merchants to optimize the ways in which they engage with shoppers today. The developer community within the tracker is separated into three categories: Shopping and Payments, Operations and Marketing.