Legal Considerations for Event Registration Systems
As more organizations begin to use online event registration systems for events, a potential headache in the legal area remains. Whether nonprofit or not, organizations are confronting a new area of legal considerations when collecting payments online. While your specific type of organization dictates your primary concerns, there are a number of basics to consider to evaluate which event registration system to choose for your needs. We’ve rounded up a few key areas here.
Event Registration System – Basic Concerns
On the surface, there are a few obvious areas to remember when considering an event registration system for your needs:
Collection of personal information and user data while collecting registration
Processing of payments and security of payment transactions
Ability to track incoming payments for accounting and reporting purposes
Ability to refund or reject payments per organizational legal requirements
Before evaluating any online event registration platform, these are four key areas to consider. The most important element is your internal organization’s legal requirements. If a government body is involved, these restrictions may be more stringent. This is especially true in the wake of GDPR, as personal privacy and data collection become more regulated and punishable by fines. While big companies are experiencing this acutely, there’s no need for your organization to risk similar exposure.
Benefits of Most Online Event Registration Systems for Legal Concerns
While every online ticketing system is different, most offer some basic security features that help cover common legal concerns:
Third party payment processors. Common processors like Stripe or PayPal are built on ability to secure payment information for all users. Most online event management systems partner with reliable payment processors like this to ensure that data is protected throughout a transaction.
Internal personal information storage. This is a bit less solid than payment processors. However, most reputable online ticketing systems have procedures in place to keep user information walled off from any loophole. If your organization operates in a particularly sensitive area, like government work, this is definitely something worth extra scrutiny. Reach out to your potential online ticket vendors to determine their process for storing personal information. This way you can avoid legal issues down the road, like the GDPR issues cited above.
Revenue tracking and reporting. While this means different things to different organizations, your legal department likely requires the ability to track every single cent that comes in (and goes out in form of reimbursement) to remain compliant. This is especially true if taxpayer money is part of your financial structure. Some payment platforms are better than others. The key thing to track is whether the event payment system allows for exporting spreadsheets and live tracking, which can easily be downloaded and transported to your accounting and legal departments.
Remaining Areas of Concern
Even with improving efficiency and security measures, a few potential legal areas remain worrying. The key ones:
Ensuring data security. While payment processors remain in business on their ability to guarantee user security, there is always the potential for a damaging leak. While we’d argue that current options are 99% secure, there’s always the small risk of a leak.
Who has access to data? Despite obvious legal recourse for losing/abusing personal data, it is key to choose a reliable event payment system to minimize risk in this area.
Client/user trust. While you may ensure the reliability of your chosen event platform, your users may still be unsure (especially in sensitive areas). Working with potential users and clients to reassure them about the process is a good step to build trust and avoid concerns.