PayPal for churches? Read the fine print

October 21, 2022

Did you know that 99% of people don’t bother to fully read a company’s terms of service before clicking the “accept terms'' button. Those terms are often complicated, and users just want to move on and start using the service.

So it’s not surprising that people were shocked to hear that PayPal’s latest policy update included fining users $2,500 for ‘spreading misinformation.’ This revelation upset many PayPal users, and searches on how to “delete PayPal'' spiked nearly 1,400% as the news spread. In response, PayPal retracted their new policy, saying the update was made in error.

At the same time, churches that use a PayPal donations account to receive donations need to be aware that PayPal’s active Acceptable Use Policy gives them the authority to seize up to $2,500 from your church’s account if they deem any of your activities to be ‘discriminatory,’ ‘intolerant,’ or ‘hateful.’ Here’s the fine print from the Prohibited Activities section of the policy:

“You may not use the PayPal service for activities…involving the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”

So, if your church allows people to tithe, pay for events like camps, or otherwise donate with PayPal, what exactly does this mean for you?

Why pay attention to PayPal’s terms

PayPal doesn’t define in their terms what constitutes ‘hate,’ ‘intolerance,’ or ‘discrimination.’ Like most Big Tech companies, they reserve the right to define these terms at their “sole discretion.” Their definitions are subjective, open to broad interpretation, and can even run counter to your church’s beliefs.

Practically speaking, if PayPal concludes that your recent sermon promotes ‘discrimination,’ or your beliefs are seen as ‘intolerant,’ they can take $2,500 from your account for each violation—including the funds generously given by your people in support of your mission! These types of violations can be reported by anyone, as PayPal’s site states, “We encourage you to report violations of this Acceptable Use Policy to PayPal immediately.”

A better giving platform than PayPal for churches

Churches today face many difficulties from a wide range of sources—declining attendance, social changes, and economic uncertainties—just to name a few. The last thing that pastors should be concerned with is whether or not their tithes and offerings are secure in their PayPal donation account.

Rather than use a payment platform that can take your church’s money based on vague and subjective terms, why not choose a church giving platform that respects your religious liberty?

Thousands of churches trust Subsplash Giving for receiving their tithes and donations while honoring their religious freedoms. Their exclusive GrowCurve™ feature has sent millions of dollars back to churches by automatically lowering their church’s processing fees as their donations increase. Churches have saved even more money with zero setup or monthly fees.

Tim Turner, founder and CEO, explains their principle of “partnership over profit” in serving churches this way:

“We’ve always been passionate about seeing more donations go to churches so that they can reinvest more of their resources into what's truly important—sharing the gospel and making more disciples.”

We’d love to partner with your church as you fulfill your mission. To experience the difference for yourself, schedule your free demonstration today.


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