2018, the online portal allows the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to accept ACH (Automated Clearing House) and credit card payments for per capita as week as mission donations.
Per capita is the primary source of funding for OGA, which manages and coordinates General Assemblies, provides training and support for presbytery and synod leaders, cultivates ecumenical partnerships and much more. Presbyteries are responsible for making per capita payments.
DeAmber Clopton, OGA’s associate director of finance and administration, says 110 out of 166 presbyteries have already signed up to use it.
“Since COVID-19 hit us last year, few presbytery staff are going into the office, so using Payer Express allows them to do everything online and their bookkeeper doesn’t have to go in to write checks,” she said. “The online platform tells you what your balance is so you can see where your presbytery is on payments, allowing you to increase or decrease payments each month. You have that flexibility.”
Clopton adds that the response has been positive.
“There’s no delay in getting payments in and checks don’t get lost, which happened a lot under the paper system,” she said. “From an accounting perspective, it just helps to get it in electronically and you don’t have to wait for checks to show up in the mail.”
Other advantages to Payer Express, according to Clopton:
- Presbyteries can set up recurring payments for per capita based on a payment arrangement, eliminating the need to manually make the payment each month.
- Payments are received in PC(USA)’s bank account in one to two days, reducing receipt time versus checks mailed to the lockbox.
- Payments are deposited based on the information selected in Payer Express, which
eliminates funds deposited in the wrong lockbox/account and having to be identified and
In recent years, OGA has seen a decrease in per capita payments as presbyteries have struggled with declining congregations and other challenges. Clopton says she’s noticing a better collection rate under Payer Express.
“Per capita payments through a lockbox and the mail have decreased while online payments have increased,” she said. “Compared to last year at this time, the percentage increase in payments is 25% more than where we were last year. That amounts to approximately $100,000 to $200,000 more now than in August of 2020.”
The plan is to shift all presbyteries to Payer Express by the end of the year. Click here to access accounts or sign up and click here for training. Clopton says those who need to reactivate their accounts or update their logins and passwords can contact Robyn McEvilla with the PC(USA)’s Administrative Services Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.