In a bid to “revolutionise” the process of offering donations, making it “faster and easier for their congregations” to contribute to weekly offerings, The Church of England (CofE) officially announced the introduction of contactless payment terminals at as many as 16,000 religious sites including churches and cathedrals throughout the U.K., according to Mashable.
The palm-sized terminals are powered by London-based financial-tech firm SumUp, and are capable of accepting and processing contactless payments including chip and pin transactions as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay payments via NFC-equipped devices like the iPhone 6s and newer.
A Church of England spokesperson indicated in a statement to Mashable that CofE is looking to expand and adapt to current trends, seeking to “revolutionise” the way its many congregations and their constituents contribute to weekly collection plate offerings.
Similarly, CofE churchgoers can utilize the contact based payment terminals as a way to pay for everything from weddings to christenings, and even funerals.
“Our parishioners can occasionally find themselves strapped for physical cash, so it’s fantastic to be able to offer an alternative which is quick and convenient,” said Alison Davie, acting secretary at St George’s Church located in Lincolnshire, U.K.
The technology has proven a “useful addition” to their church so far, Davie said, though it’s not clear how many parishioners are utilizing the service already.
“We hope this is a step forward for St George’s and many other churches like it, in staying ahead in the modern era,” Davie added.
According to SumUp, the firm regulating and powering the contactless payment terminals, CofE its charged a “small transition fee” every time they are used.
The Church of England, albeit among the largest religious organizations in the world, is merely the latest to join in on the burgeoning trend of foregoing paper currency in favor of digital payment solutions like Apple Pay — which has been used by customers to carry out an estimated 12.8% of contactless payments as of December 2017, according to the latest PYMNTS data.