Contactless payment is the new way of making offerings and donations in the church of England parishes across the country. In a bid to modernise how congregations can donate, the church is piloting the ‘tap-and-pay’ contactless payments system.
St Nicholas’ Cathedral in Newcastle is among the first churches to explore the technology, which will see a standing terminal capable of processing payments of up to £30 installed towards the back of the building. Around 40 churches will participate in the trial in the next few weeks, with around ten opting for the static terminals aimed at visitors to larger buildings, and 30 others testing out handheld machines which will be passed around the congregation.
If the trial proves successful when it concludes at the end of the year, contactless terminals of both kinds could become common sights at places of worship. “We know that more and more people tend not to carry cash, so we would like to respond to that,” said Chris Dalliston, Dean of the cathedral. “Bearing in mind we have a running cost of £2,000 per day, but don’t charge an entrance fee, we hope that introducing contactless payment will make it easier for people to give as much or as little as they want, in the way that they want,” he added. “At this stage though we’re looking at the contributions we receive from visitors, which is why we’ve opted to try the standing contactless device.”
Last year, for the first time in Britain, contactless cards accounted for a third of all card purchases, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Cards now account for 42.6 per cent of all transactions in the UK, compared to notes and coins’ 42.3 per cent. Contactless payment was introduced in 2007 and has since expanded beyond debit cards to include mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. Transport for London recently announced one billion journeys had been made on its bus, tube and train networks using contactless payment cards.