Dublin Churches Begin Trialing Contactless Payments for Donations

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It might come as no surprise to people that we wouldn’t be the biggest fans of the church here at Goosed.ie, Martin has even wrote an article about using GDPR to leave the Catholic Church. But if we can use tech to leave, the church can use tech to their advantage too. That’s why it now looks like collection baskets may soon become a thing of the past!

We’ve all been there down the years, you’re sitting down doing your mini aerobics class throughout mass and bang, the collection basket comes out. Do you not want drop a couple coppers in to the basket or did you just simply forget the change? Well it could all be changing due to a new initiate that’s kicked of in 5 Dublin based churches.

Digital collection boxes

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These digital collection boxes are basically the introduction of contactless card payments in place of the old basket for those of us who barely carry cash anymore. They have rolled out this initiative to tackle the decline in cash donations. It’s been reported that there has been a 19% decrease in donations between 2016 and 2017, with donations dropping from 2.4million from 3.1million the previous year.

“We are piloting a new payment method in a small number of churches, with card machines in place at the back of the church to allow parishioners to make a contactless contribution,”

Has this been done before?

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Yes it has, the Church of England has been trailing it for a short while now and the early reports are indicating a 97% increase in donations since the introduction of the digital collection box.

Of course that means the Catholic Church have the euro symbols in their eyes and they have jumped right on the bandwagon.

“later this year we plan to roll out the ability for the majority of parishes to accept card-based payments using a parish payments system. This will cover many transactions such as offerings, pilgrimage payments and will enable parishioners to sign up for recurring contributions.”

Not ones to miss a trick, this new system won’t spell the end of the old wicker baskets that traditionally do the rounds. Now how this works is simple, you pick from one of four options and then either tap your card or phone and pass along. The device can currently handle 500 transactions before needing to charge.

From what we have seen so far, Irish churches will have a stationary device at the back of the church so you can donate before or after the service and in time we might see the mobile option replace the traditional donation method.

At the moment there are over 16,000 in the UK using the system and they aim of making portable card readers available.

It’s definitely an interesting time for the church as worshippers and donations have been drying up over the last couple of years but hey if you’re the church going type and you like giving them money here’s a modern solution that we assume will be rolled out nationwide in the near future.

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Junior Editor & Goosed Podcast host Jon is passionate about phones, design and everything tech. Having joined the Goosed.ie team in 2015 he now manages our podcast and is our unofficial random ideas guy when he's not watching Disney movies. Seriously we're not joking. Read more by Jon.