Church considering accepting contactless payments

The Church of Scotland is drawing up plans to accept contactless payments in a bid to boost donations.

It is planning to run a pilot scheme offering the new technology at a number of churches across the country later this year.

card reader
Contactless is an increasingly common method of making payments.

The development emerged after the Church of England revealed members would be able to make donations by contactless cards, Apple or Google Pay.

Some congregations are already using innovative transaction methods.

Greyfriars Parish Church in Lanark offers the option for people to donate money via text message during a service.

It also provides an online ticketing payment service for events where people need to buy a ticket in advance.

Traditional collection plates are part of the heritage of the Church of Scotland and there is no suggestion that they will be replaced by contactless payment devices.

Anne Macintosh, General Treasurer of the Church of Scotland, said: “We work with Church of England colleagues in areas of shared interest and were very excited to hear of the success of their trial.

“Our own Stewardship Team has been looking at this and we have identified a number of churches with a view to piloting contactless payment terminals in the near future.

“We envisage that these could be used for many purposes including retiring collections and donations by visitors to our historic churches and cathedrals.

Anne MacIntosh
Anne MacIntosh

“Regular giving to our congregations is largely made by standing order which is hugely important.

“But we know that there are many occasions when special collections are held or people would like to give spontaneously but just don’t carry much cash.

“We think there is huge potential for congregations here, not only to raise extra income, but to show that the Church is moving with the times.”