The successful trial of contactless offerings in the Church of England has led to an extension of the scheme across England and Wales, according to the company behind it.
London-based payment technology company SumUp has introduced the contactless collection box, aimed at making donations and transactions faster and easier for congregations, in a small number of churches. It says they have experienced a doubling of donations since its introduction.
The technology can be used to take contactless payments, Apple Pay and Google Pay, and is capable of supporting 500 transactions without recharging. A fixed table-top version of the solution is also available, enabling people to donate before or after the service.
Rev Margaret Cave, vicar of Christ Church East Greenwich, said: 'We have enjoyed trialling the new digital Collection Box at Christ Church where it has gone down very well with the congregation. We have seen the age profile of Christ Church get lower over the last few years as we have welcomed more families, children and young people as well as young adults through different projects such as our church football team, our youth and children's work and our Connect Mums group.
'Most young people don't carry cash so it's important for us as a church to be ahead of the curve embracing modern technology and working with new ways for people to make donations.'
SumUp co-founder Marc-Alexander Christ said: 'In 2019 we are going to see an even greater uptake in contactless payments as we transition towards a truly cashless society. This means that elements of everyday life will need to adapt, and the digital collection plate is an amazing example of tradition meeting technology.
'As congregations around the UK carry less and less cash, the donation process needs to be as easy as possible in order to harness people's generosity. That's why we believe this partnership will be an immaculate connection.'
The scheme will be made available to the Church of England's 16,000 churches and 42 cathedrals through its Parish Buying Service.