The Church of Scotland is adapting to the increasing number of people choosing to make payments by card by rolling out a new “contactless collection plate”.
David Lynch, a member of Trinity church in Inverness, appreciates that he and his colleagues have to adapt to life in the 21st century.
He is among those who are keen to show people how terminals could make donating faster and easier, and has described one project called GoodPlate as a “game-changer”.
The device is small enough to sit in a brass collection plate, which gives parishioners the option of making a cashless donation rather than dropping in notes and coins.
Mr Lynch, the Kirk’s national stewardship co-ordinator, said: “Digital giving shows that the Church is willing and able to embrace modern technology and recognises that we are living in changing times.
“It fully understands the need to look at new and emerging methods of income generation.”
David Lynch backs the new GoodPlate system for the Church of Scotland.He added: “The purpose of encouraging congregations to adopt a system like this is to provide those people looking to donate with the widest possible options.
“They could be one-off visitors to services, event attendees, tourists or regular church members who have moved to a cashless lifestyle.
“It will also give congregations the option of a new portal of income generation for events and hall rentals.”
Although he expects to see digital giving growing in the future, Mr Lynch does not think it will replace traditional donation methods overnight and a “merger of the two” will become commonplace.
Congregations already using contactless payment systems include Paisley Abbey and St Giles Cathedral and Murrayfield Parish Church in Edinburgh.
Greyfriars Parish Church in South Lanarkshire introduced a PayPal system seven months ago and Rev Bryan Kerr said donations from people who would not traditionally give money to a church had increased.