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Wikimedia's soft descriptor
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Donor relations has been getting calls from confused donors saying their statements read "monthly gift to WI" or "Monthly donation to TH" vs the identifiable "Wikimedia+contact #" which is on file with our PSP's. Could someone please tell me what we are sending to the PSP as a descriptor and depending on what it is saying we may want to edit given donor confusion. Thank you.

Event Timeline

I should add these are on recurring donations that we send monthly.

possible equivalent zendesk tickets: #905494 #884626 as reported from @MBeat33

@EMartin and @MBeat33 fr-tech confirmed that we send the "monthly donation to" part but as @MBeat33 noted this is also "(FIS) Donation to the Donation to the Wik " which is clearly adding more info to the transaction. Even if we significantly change the text we send, this will end up in weird configurations depending on the bank. If we do start to edit the text we send, we need to confirm we are allowed to do that with the particular psp.

@EMartin can you ask psps how other orgs are addressing this?

Also note @jgleeson found that these are coming from adyen and ingenico, not paypal.

Looks like we set this message for Adyen & Ingenico here

That code uses a $domain->name value when building the description which is not the actual domain address the site is hosted on, instead, it's the name value within the 'civicrm_domain' MySQL table.

Some examples from my Chase account:

Adyen recurring "Wikipedia Gift"
Adyen recurring "WIKIMEDIA 877-600-9454"
Ingenico recurring "Monthly donation to Wikim"

I think the first of a monthly convert recurring for Ingenico says "Monthly donation to the W" then afterwards it goes to "Monthly donation to Wikim"

hi David, it is standard for acquirers to allow a soft descriptor, i.e., a descriptor we send to over-write what they have on file. It is usually restricted to 23 characters which is why it gets truncated when it gets to the issuer. Can we modify what we send to match that of what we have on file at the PSP? At Ingenico and Adyen, for instance, it is WikipediaGift 8776009454.

Thank you, all. For Donor Relations, it's helpful for the donors to see 'Wikimedia' and the contact phone #, and noting recurring is also helpful (unless it obscures the first two pieces of info).

David confirmed that fr-tech adds the "monthly donation to" part.

  • do any PSPs require us to add this?
  • if so, is it technically possible to make the monthly phrase a suffix to the descriptors, rather than a prefix?
  • just noting from IRC that monthly conversion also seems to have it's own variation between the initial and successive donations

Descriptor space is more precious than banner space! We want the donors to have the info they need, but historically it has also been helpful for descriptors to vary between different PSPs - locating fraudulent charges made not in the donor's name is easier when what the cardholder sees on their statement points us to the specific method.

Optimizing descriptors would be useful. Given the complexity & stakeholders involved, and the relatively small # of Zendesk inquiries, I would think of this as Medium priority for DR team perspective

From Ingenico: Wells Fargo (our acquirer) supports 'Soft Descriptor' for up to 25 characters. The process is simple as Ingenico basically forward the same Soft Descriptor to the acquirer, and it is up to the acquirer and issuing bank on what to display to the end consumer.

I therefore believe we should standardize on: Wikimedia 877 600 9454. Can this be edited on our soft descriptor @fr-tech

Hi all, Adyen also chimed in on the allowable fields for soft descriptor which, on their platform is 22 characters! So the standard suggested above works for them as well: Wikimedia 877 600 9454.

I second @EMartin on standardizing to: Wikimedia 877 600 9454, as it will prevent donors from being confused by their banks if they clip some of the info. Letting the TY email carry more of the load in terms of confirming recurring status, and ensuring that recurring donors know who we are and how to contact us, would be great.

DStrine triaged this task as Medium priority.Feb 16 2021, 9:15 PM

It should be noted that Legal has approved Wikimedia 877 600 9454 also.

We currently use the same descriptor for credit cards and for PayPal, where it's shown on the payment confirmation screen. Any concerns with changing this for both?

The monthly string could be "Wikimedia 877 600 9454 - monthly gift" so we still have a reminder that it's monthly when the donor is confirming.

Change 667048 had a related patch set uploaded (by Ejegg; owner: Ejegg):
[mediawiki/extensions/DonationInterface@master] Shorten soft descriptor in English

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/667048

The attached patch will update the descriptor for English-language donors, for one-time and first-of-a-recurring subscription donations.

Will the phone number make sense for non-US donors?

Change 667050 had a related patch set uploaded (by Ejegg; owner: Ejegg):
[wikimedia/fundraising/crm@master] Shorten recurring charge descriptor

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/667050

OK, the second patch will change the recurring statements to 'Wikimedia 877 600 9454'

Change 667050 merged by jenkins-bot:
[wikimedia/fundraising/crm@master] Shorten recurring charge descriptor

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/667050

Change 667048 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/DonationInterface@master] Shorten soft descriptor in English

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/667048

Hi, I still see us sending a soft descriptor that is other than Wikimedia 877 600 99454. Example below:

image.png (427×1 px, 46 KB)

fr-tech I merged in a bug from this. This might not be done yet. Can someone look at this before the end of the sprint?

This is in the Swedish translation, would they still call the same phone number?

Good point, Christine. Probably not. The problem is that we only have 25
characters (around the globe) we tried to settle on something that won't
get truncated at the issuing bank. Can we keep it to Wikimedia? I see it
coming through on some transactions but not all. Do you know why some and
not others?

I'm going to call this done and make a non-english task.

Thanks, if we can set something different for non-English, we'd like it to
be donat@wikimedia.org vs Wikimedia 877 600 xxxx

just for clarity the DR email is donate@ not donat@

Hi - I see this descriptor coming through to the Ingenico portal which is too long. Are we sending the Wikimedia portion? If so, it is too long and best to just use donate@wikimedia.org

image.png (267×504 px, 22 KB)