Contactless payment takes off in Leeds Diocese

Contactless payment is now permitted in parishes across the diocese following a nationwide launch by the Church of England.

And Revd Robb Sutherland at Holy Nativity, Mixenden, has seized the opportunity and already has a terminal to take instant payments of fees or donations.

"I’m really excited to see how we can make best use of it.  
"People will love the novelty of it and I can’t wait to see what happens on Sunday when my congregation all want to have a go," Robb said. 

"For visitors and people new to the church it just makes sense – I never have cash on me anymore and I know lots of people have the same problem when they come to church for a big family event.

"We have the Rock Mass every month, and I can see that congregation being really up for trying something new, and I’m thinking how we can have it available at the back of church after Baptisms and big services.

“It was so easy to set up, literally took me three minutes and even someone with no technical knowledge could have it up and running in 10 minutes.  

"As well as using it with my phone, we’ve bought a cheap secondhand tablet to use too.  

"You can run the device on more than one app, so it’s connected to my phone and to the tablet – that way if I need to use it to take wedding fees I can, but the tablet will stay in church so after services, anyone can leave a donation without the need for me to be near the machine.

 “At £22 it was a no-brainer.  I’ve already donated a couple of times to test it, so now all we need is another 3 or 4 donations and we’ve made our money back," said Robb, pictured left.

More than 16,000 churches, cathedrals, and religious sites will be allowed to use contactless payment terminals which are available via the C of E’s Parish Buying portal, through a partnership with SumUp and iZettle. 

They are designed for receiving fees and can also be used for for retiring collections in a world where increasingly few people carry cash. 

"There are various types of terminal to suit the needs of all places of worship, from our cathedrals to the smallest churches and a small transaction fee of 0.6 per cent pays for the service," said Diocesan Stewardship Advisor Jo Beacroft-Mitchell who gave the initiative her backing:

"This is a great opportunity for parishes to offer a quick easy way of giving.  

"People love celebrating big family occasions with us and they want to support their local church, but these days fewer and fewer of us are carrying much cash.  I work with churches all the time but even I have been caught feeling embarrassed when the plate comes past at a family baptism”. 

"We’re really pleased that these two tech firms have embraced the church and offered us such a great deal on the systems.  

"At a cost of just over £20 any church could be up and running and able to take electronic donations by Easter Sunday.  Imagine what a surprise it would be for easter visitors to be offered the option to give through their phone - it only takes a couple of people to use it and you’ve made your money back!

"I really want as many of our churches as possible to give it a go.

"Please tell us about it too, as we’d love to share stories of how parishes have used this new technology to boost their income," said Jo, pictured right.
 

The C of E’s National Stewardship and Resources Officer, John Preston, said: “How we pay for things is changing fast, especially for younger churchgoers, who no longer carry cash, and we want all genera­tions to be able to make the most of their place of worship.

“Installing this technology does mean that one-off fees can be done via card, as can making one-off donations. The vast bulk of regular giving will continue to be done by standing order as we continue our trial with various technologies.”

 

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