Changed: Bank Verification Now Saves the Account

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When donating using Giving, donors have the ability to save their payment method to their profile so that they don't have to enter this information each time they give.*

This option makes a lot of sense for card donations, since many one-time donors elect not to save their card to their profile. However, this didn't make things easier for donors giving using their bank account, since typically, ACH donors plan to use their bank information to donate more than once.

What's changed?

We've now made it so that all bank accounts are saved to a donor's profile after verifying their bank information. This is no longer optional when choosing to give with a bank account. 

Previously, a "Save this payment method" checkbox was available for verified bank accounts. While donors will still see this option when giving with a card, verified bank accounts will now be automatically saved to a donor's profile. The interface makes this clear here:

Giving using a Card


(Saving is still an option for cards.) 


Giving using a Bank Account (ACH)


(Verified bank accounts are always saved.) 


What's the reason for this change?

There are a number of factors that prompted this update:

  • We've come to understand that account verification really isn't built for single-use transactions. With our previous implementation, fraud detection systems were short circuited by the fact that verified bank accounts were being constantly discarded. Because fraud detection is weakened by this practice, the donation form has become a target for fraudsters to test stolen bank login credentials.
  • Donors typically don't think of bank accounts as a single-use type of payment method. A growing number of donors have indicated to their churches that they feel uneasy about having to repeatedly hand over their bank account login credentials. In short, it feels like something you should only have to do once. 
  • This brings our system more in line with how most other ACH payment systems work. In every other payment system we encountered, adding a bank account and going through the verification process saves that as a connected bank account. 

Thoughtfully and carefully handling payment methods is a critical component of Giving, and we never make these changes lightly. If you have any questions, we're listening on the other end of our helpdesk. Just hit the ? button in the top right of Planning Center Giving, and let our support team know!

~ Team Giving


* As a reminder, Planning Center Giving never accesses or stores anyone's card or bank login information – not even temporarily. When we talk about "saving" payment methods, what's actually being saved is the encrypted token provided to us by Stripe, our payment processor. Stripe receives the payment method and generates a token that represents it, but doesn't share the full details of the payment method itself.

The change described in this article is about how Giving handles those payment method's tokens. These tokens never include card numbers, routing numbers, or account numbers.

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