What can a church do when its younger parishioners stop carrying coins they can toss into the donation box? In the Church of England’s case, it’s to offer high-tech collection plates that accept Apple Pay, Google Pay and SMS mobile payments. According to the BBC, the Church conducted a trial run of its modern collection method in 40 churches over the summer. Now, it’s planning to launch the option in all 16,000 churches throughout England before the year ends, not just for donation collection, but also for collecting fees for weddings, christenings, concerts and funerals.
The Church’s “collection plate” is actually a portable SumUp Air card reader, which you can see above. It’s still trialing contactless payments before it expands their availability, but one of the issues it sees going forward is that transferring money through Apple or Google Pay takes more time than dropping coins into a bag. It has to find a way to make collection via digital means more practical and viable if it wants to use it for one-off donations.
At least one reverend was thrilled with how things went during the trial period — Margaret Cave from Christchurch in East Greenwich told the BBC that it was “great” and that she is “going to keep” the option. “It makes us feel like we’re part of the 21st century, and we can take payments in a safe and secure way,” Cave added. If other C of E reverends share her view, then more parishioners might see contactless payment options for donation in the near future.