Church of England

Rev. Martin Taylor of St. George's church in Stanford displaying the SumUp portal (Credit SumUp)

Churches go cashless

The Church of England is working with tech firms SumUp and iZettle as it looks to roll-out contactless payment technology in its 16,000 sites across the country.

The church is making contactless, virtual terminal, and SMS mobile payments available in a bid to make transactions faster and easier for congregations.

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.

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

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

The pay-as-you-go pricing is well suited to the needs of religious institutions, charging only a small transaction fee when the reader is used. The decision follows a trial which began in summer 2017 in cathedrals and parish churches.

Technology facilitating 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.

John Preston, national stewardship officer of the Church of England, 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.”

Johan Bendz, 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.”