Contactless giving

One of the many changes we have had to make as a result of Covid-19 is how we manage our money.

Everywhere we go we are encouraged not to use cash and to use contactless. It has accelerated something that was happening anyway. Debit card payments outstripped cash in 2017 and are used for over 40% of all payments. Contactless payments made up 19% of all payments in 2018 and are popular in every age group including 61% of those over 65.

When churches open again we will pay attention to social distancing and good hygiene to minimise risk and part of this consideration will be receiving the offertory.

Encouraging contactless payments will have a great deal of benefit for your church.

Getting started with contactless payments
With huge changes in how we make our day to day payments it will also be important when churches open again to provide a contactless way to make our gifts to God and the ministry of our church. This will be true for our regular Sunday and midweek congregations. It will also be true for occasional offices and for those who visit the sacred space of our open churches.
  • Start with Parish Buying who have negotiated deals with various providers of card readers and have advice on contactless solutions.
  • Watch a video on the use and value of contactless giving in churches; a 60 second version is available here
  • View a wide range of contactless solutions at Parish Buying. They range from cheap and cheerful (see below) to high end units which don’t need internet wi-fi in the building and can be customised and offer Gift Aid.
Using a sum up card reader
One of the cheapest of these options is a SumUp card reader, just £19 from Parish Buying.

This simple card will get you started with contactless and you can purchase a more expensive reader via Parish Buying as needed. Note you will need a smartphone or tablet to use with the card reader. If there is no wi-fi in the building you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot.

This card reader can also be used to take contactless donations say in a church café or shop or even after church coffee. It also has Chip and Pin functionality so can be used to take fees.

Note also: the SumUp card reader comes with its own interface app for Android and iOS. There is also a free interface app and a paid app which includes Gift Aid claiming – these are from Give a Little but currently only work with Android.
Weekly envelopes and offerings
When our churches are open many Christians will bring their weekly envelopes and offerings saved up whilst our churches were closed. It is important that we do this, and that we thank people for their generosity.

As long as folk are using envelopes or making cash gifts we will have to have due regard to good practice in light of any national guidelines and make practical arrangements for the safe receiving, counting and banking of cash gifts.

Liturgically we will want to offer these gifts to God in worship in an appropriate way.