The Church of England has launched a trial which will allow worshippers to donate using their contactless credit and debit cards.
Starting this summer, 40 churches will have handheld terminals installed – which will allow churchgoers to make donations of up to £30.
The trial will take place at a selection of churches – including urban, rural, large and small establishments. If successful, the contactless payment system will be rolled out to every Church of England church in the next year.
The Church of England says it hopes to encourage more youngsters to donate by offering this service. It believes many would prefer to donate electronically as fewer young people carry cash.
The Church also hopes it will boost collections from a particular group that often fails to give: those coming to a wedding or christening who attend services so seldom that they forget to bring any cash for the moment the collection plate arrives.
‘There are many people now who don’t carry cash’
John Preston, national stewardship officer for the Church of England, says: "We're aware that younger generations - and there are many people now who don't carry cash - want to give in different ways. Enabling them to give in a way that suits them is something we'd like to try."
Payments UK points to the “rapid growth in the use of contactless cards” as one of the most important factors behind the drop in cash. But the association has forecast that by late 2018, cash will no longer be the primary payment method for UK consumers.
Meanwhile, in March 2017, the financial regulator warned that consumers must be given more protection against contactless card fraud.
But even the humble credit and debit card could be at risk thanks to a growing number of digital devices allowing you to make so called “cardless” payments. You can read more about these in 'Make life easier with cardless payments' and ‘How to go cardless: my contactless day' .