I first met Jax Carroll, President of HaloPays, four years ago at a church conference, and he shared with me his passion to help churches increase their funding for ministry using online giving for churches! Halo is still doing what they do best, and they have continued to develop their services and add exciting new features. Here is an interview with Mr. Carroll. I hope you will enjoy learning more about what they have to offer!
First off, tell our readers what it is that HaloPays does.
Sure. HaloPays provides online giving for churches with payment processing for Christian organizations and churches. We provide a merchant gateway for credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts… pretty much every way people donate in these modern times, we facilitate.
If someone wants to give to a church, ministry, faith-based charity, business, or non-profit, we’re going to make sure they get as much of that money as possible. We work directly with websites, apps, and kiosks. We’ve taken in more than $1 billion in donations. We’ve doubled our customer intake every year, for all six years we’ve been around. So we’re really happy with our growth.
You’ve created a new way for software companies to sell more donation software, right?
That’s probably the way your readers would see it, yes! In reality, 95% of churches and other faith-based organizations don’t qualify for great rates with the usual pricing structures in our industry. They don’t want to pay transaction fees, monthly fees or annual fees.
We put in a lot of hard work to become a specific type of credit card processor called a Payment Service Provider or PSP. This PSP model lets us get rid of all of those fees and set a single, flat rate. It’s always 1% for e-checks/ACH and never more than 3% for credit and debit cards. It opens up a whole new world of potential clients for us who don’t want complicated processes, and it exponentially opens up the field for our software partners.
We want to partner with every software provider and web designer possible, so reach out and talk to us today.
Are most of your competitors actually PSP’s, like you?
No, most are acting as a third party to the real processor, so they’re sales offices for credit card processers. And even most processors aren’t PSP’s, so the entire process was really challenging. It’s allowed for a whole new pricing structure for this industry. We’re shaking things up!
As a PSP, we can sign people up with no monthly or annual fees, and same-day approval. It just simplifies the whole process. We have complete control over everything: the application, the gateway, the underwriting, the settlement and distribution of funds, and we control the pricing.
If you’re a mega church, you’re getting incredible volume, so you’re getting great rates. But about 95% of our clients didn’t have the volume to get the lowest rates we were allowed,. We cut out the middleman and took control.
Is that connected to your new offering, HaloOne?
Exactly. With HaloOne, we charge 1% for ACH/e-checks and a maximum of 3% for all debit and credit cards.
Each customer pays one flat percentage rate we agree on that’s never higher than 3%, and that’s it. Zero additional processing fees. We got rid of all monthly and annual fees, the PCI charge, the processing fee, the transaction fee. It’s a big deal in this industry. These are things we can charge for, but not charging them serves our goals as a company more than our financial goals.
If a software company or a customer wanted to add HaloPays, how long would that take?
We’re super-fast. With a new software partner, within two weeks they’d be up and running, integrated to our gateway. We’ve written our own API, and we work closely with our partners on integration.
But after we’re set up with a software partner, we approve new accounts for customers same-day.
Bigger picture, what does HaloPays do differently?
We’ve always had the best retention rate I’ve ever heard of in our industry. We’ve been at 96% over 6 years, and the average is 80%. We hear it’s our support, training, and our straightforward approach. We’d rather be totally clear about what you’ll be charged from day 1, rather than sweet talk you into thinking you have some unrealistically great rate that you really don’t.
The majority of the time, people in charge of payment management don’t really know what they’re paying. And I think that’s a real shame. Long-term relationships are a lot more important to us than a quick buck.
We usually get customers who have been using PayPal and wanted something just as cut-and-dried, or after they realize they were misled by some other provider. Usually an organization is pitched to, then they sign, then they’re abandoned, given only cryptic reports.
We do free statement evaluations for organizations who aren’t working with us yet, to make sure they know what they’re actually paying as a total percentage. The difference between what they thought they were promised and what has actually come out is often incredible. And not incredible in a good way.
How do people get so confused?
Typical industry pricing is very tricky. With most providers, there are a ton of different fees and a number of tiers. Pricing depends on the type of card you take and how you take it. We scrapped that whole system last year.
Just last week we had someone using another merchant services provider who thought they were paying 1.5% actually have zero transactions going through at that rate. And their next tier was 2.5%, but they had zero transactions going through on that rate. It turns out 100% of their transactions were going through a 6.5% rate, and they hadn’t looked at that in years. In a few hours, we were able to save them $1,500/month. That’s a lot of money. We have hundreds of stories like that.
We’re not just slapping the name “Halo” on our business and in our logo. This is my calling in life, and everyone on our team is just as passionate about serving Christ as I am. We know we could boost revenue by charging more than we need to, but we never have and never will, and that’s why we have a 96% retention rate.
Why do you lose anyone? What’s happening with that 4%?
Some organizations cease to exist… and we’re pretty sure that’s not our fault! Others move to software providers that aren’t using our services as one of their processing solutions. We hope with the new zero fee, flat-rate model, all software providers in the faith based industry will offer us as a choice to their churches and ministries.
To our knowledge, we’ve never – in six years – lost a customer to another faith-based merchant service provider. We honestly have very happy, dedicated customers.
What’s next for HaloPays? What’s the next goal?
We just want to keep building relationships with online donation software providers, website builders, and keep connecting with Christian organizations.
It’s our mission to make sure they are keeping as much of each donation as possible. We want to make it easy for organizations who thought it was financially out of reach to take donations.
And we want to get retention up to 97%… now you’re making me feel bad about 96%!