In the digital age, backups are essential. You likely have a backup hard drive for all of your vacation photos, or a cloud backup for all of the data on your phone or computer. Heck, there are entire businesses built on the idea of backing up data.
Well, credit card processing is no different.
Especially for high-volume giving periods, like Giving Tuesday and the big year-end giving season, we recommend having a backup provider to ensure that no gifts are missed. For clients using Payments by Virtuous, we recommend setting up a Stripe account as a backup.
How a Backup Processor Works
Let's say that on a particularly busy day, there is a technical issue with an upstream processor. Something like that could really derail things for your organization!
With a backup processor in place, RaiseDonors will be able to quickly switch all of your gift processing to your backup processor, which will allow gifts to continue without interruption. Your big day is saved!
Now, we're sure you have some other questions. We've gathered a few questions and provided answers below. Scroll through to read all of them, or just click on a question below to jump right to the answer.
- How does RaiseDonors know when to switch to my backup processor?
- Will my donors notice anything different when using my backup processor?
- If RaiseDonors switches to my backup processor, it it just temporary?
- Will switching to a backup processor affect gift imports in Virtuous?
- If transactions are processed using a backup processor, will that affect reconciliation reports?
- Will using a backup processor affect recurring gifts?
- Will my donors need to log in to two separate Donor Portal accounts to see their giving?
- Can my staff still process transactions using the Virtual terminal?
How does RaiseDonors know when to switch to my backup processor?
The RaiseDonors Engineering and Support teams actively monitor activity during peak times. If an issue is detected, our teams can immediately switch to backup processing to ensure a consistent experience for your donors. (back to FAQ)
Will my donors notice anything different when using my backup processor?
For the most part, your donors should not see any difference in their donation experience. That said, there are a few differences between processing via Virtuous Payments and via Stripe.
The most significant difference is in ACH processing. When paying via bank account and using Virtuous Payments, donors can enter their bank account number and routing number as payment information. When processing via Stripe, ACH donations are processed via Plaid, which requires logging in to an online banking account. This may not be as noticeable to donors, but if you have staff entering gifts for donors via the Virtual Terminal, your staff needs to be aware that they will not be able to process ACH transactions by phone (most donors will not want to share their bank login information).
If your organization has not configured ACH processing for your Stripe account, in the event that RaiseDonors does switch to using Stripe as your backup processor, the option to pay via bank account will automatically be hidden on your giving forms. (back to FAQ)
If RaiseDonors switches to my backup processor, is it just temporary?
If at any point RaiseDonors determines that it is necessary to switch to a backup processor, transactions will continue using the backup processor for the remainder of that day. Each morning, our team will conduct an analysis of all upstream processors to determine if processing can be moved back to Payments. If so, that processing will resume via Payments as usual. If, for some reason, our team determines that transactions should continue to use a backup processor, then we will continue to do so for the day. (back to FAQ)
Will switching to a backup processor affect gift imports in Virtuous?
Not at all! If you are using our direct integration with Virtuous, transactions will continue processing as usual and will be sent to Pending Transactions where they will be held until midnight local time for your organization, Then, Virtuous will bundle transactions and have them ready for review in the Gift & Contact Import Tool the following morning. Regardless of the processor, all Virtuous Giving transactions will still be bundled together. (back to FAQ)
If transactions are processed using a backup processor, will that affect reconciliation reports?
Yes. Reconciliation is based on payouts from each processor. Once you have set up Stripe as a backup processor, you will have separte payouts from Stripe and from Virtuous Payments. (back to FAQ)
Will using a backup processor affect recurring gifts?
No. Donors can still set up new recurring gifts, and existing recurring charges will continue as usual. (back to FAQ)
Will my donors need to log in to two separate Donor Portal accounts to see their giving?
Nope! While each of your processing accounts will have a separate Donor Portal, each with different subdomains, donors will be able to log in to either one and still see all of their giving activity, and even manage or update payment methods. (back to FAQ)
Can my staff still process transactions using the Virtual terminal?
You betcha! In the event that we do switch to using a backup processor, your team will be able to process donations using the Virtuous Terminal, just as before. Keep in mind though that ACH processing will be different. (back to FAQ)
OK, now that you know all about using a backup processor, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and log in to Virtuous and make sure you have a backup processor in place today!