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A new American Express white paper geared to helping SaaS companies bring payments in-house successfully features a case study of a software company that has done just that: Ministry Brands.

Ministry Brands is a family of software companies that provides software and technology solutions to churches and ministries. According to the paper, the company was initially focused on the operational needs of churches, including church management, web development, communication and giving platforms.

To enable the company to focus on such an ambitious agenda, they decided against also taking on payments. Instead, they partnered with a payment processor through a referral arrangement. Eventually, though, Ministry realized that an outside provider was not as able to recognize and respond to their customers’ unique needs.

For example, the company understood the risk levels of churches that were startups, but were nonetheless affiliated with larger, established churches, better than their payments provider could. And they knew that church financial administrators would benefit from a more streamlined accounting process – but they didn’t have access to and control over the payment data they needed to make that happen.

“When working with a referral partner, we found we were further from our goals than we wanted to be,” Ministry Brands co-founder and chief payments officer Jason Butler said in the paper.

“We realized we would like to bring the process more in-house so we would have more control over those touchpoints and our ability to serve our customers.”

Ministry ultimately decided to become a payment facilitator with Worldpay, taking on increasing levels of control. The company found that managing payments directly enabled it to have more control over its customers’ experience, which it expected. It also found that the change improved its gross revenue, gross margin and enterprise valuation.

For more about how Ministry Brands accomplished its goals, as well as some of the lessons the company learned along the way, download the white paper.