Church of England teams up with iZettle and SumUp to make cashless payments available

The Church of England is making contactless and SMS mobile phone payments available throughout England, in a bid to speed up and simplify transactions for the Church's congregations.

The CoFE said that in 'an increasingly cashless era', churches will now be able to offer cashless payment options for events including weddings, christenings, church fetes and concerts, as well for making one-off donations and the booking of churches and halls.

More than 16,000 churches, cathedrals, and religious sites will now have access to portable card readers through the Church of England's Parish Buying portal thanks to a partnership with SumUp and iZettle.

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The readers will be used to take contactless payments, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as chip & PIN.

The pay-as-you-go pricing is 'well suited to the needs of religious institutions,' and will involve a small transaction fee when the reader is used, the CofE said.

The decision comes after a trial which began in summer 2017 in cathedrals and parish churches.

Meanwhile, technology enabling charitable donations on a self-service basis, including passing around a reader for the collection, continues to be trialled and 'is expected to be launched in phase two of the project', the Church said.

The national stewardship officer of the Church of England, John Preston, said: 'There is a clear need for our parishes to introduce card and contactless facilities and we are excited to make this available through Parish Buying.

'How we pay for things is changing fast, especially for younger church-goers, who no longer carry cash, and we want all generations to be able to make the most of their place of worship.

'Installing this technology does mean that one-off fees can be done via card, as can making one-off donations. The vast bulk of regular giving will continue to be done by standing order as we continue our trial with various technologies.'

Marc-Alexander Christ, co-founder of SumUp, said: 'Working with an institution as prestigious as The Church of England is a real privilege. Whether it's helping parishes streamline the wedding planning process or the running of the church fete, this relationship opens up all kinds of opportunities for the Church of England.'

And Johan Bendz, the chief strategy and communication officer at iZettle, said: 'We're thrilled to support the Church of England and believe this to be a match made in heaven. Using iZettle, church-goers now have the choice to pay and make contributions in whatever way suits them best – whether it is by cash, card, mobile or wearable technology – which will benefit both the church and its visitors.'

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