The update rate varies widely due to factors including:
  • What banks issued your sustaining donors’ credit cards. Not all banks participate in the Credit Card Updater service. For example, in the US, most large, national banks participate whereas small, local banks and credit unions can be less likely to participate. As mentioned, in Canada, the number of participating banks is much fewer
  • When the gifts were first established
    • Organizations that run child sponsorship programs often have credit cards that were provided for children many years prior and, as a result, will often receive a higher percentage of updates, especially in the first month.
    • Organizations that run annual membership drives often receive updated credit card data each year and will, therefore, receive fewer updates in the first month.
  • How proactive the organization is in reaching out to supporters when credit cards for recurring gifts have an upcoming expiration date or are declined
  • Whether there are large numbers of credit cards being reissued in a given month (due to bank mergers, credit card security breaches, etc.)
  • What card brand your sustaining donors have. American Express estimates that its Cardrefresher service updates 4 percent of American Express cards the first month, followed by 1.7 percent thereafter.  Since the service only updates cards that are current at the time of registration, this update rate is typically lower than that of the other card brands (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover).