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Eftpos in churches boosting donations

Protestant pastors in New Zealand say donations to their churches have risen since easy-pay Eftpos machines have been installed in church foyers within the past 18 months.

Worshippers could donate before or after a service, but could still give cash if they wanted. The new technology is popular mainly in large Baptist churches. Representatives from Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian congregations said that while they had not installed Eftpos machines, parishioners contribute with cheques or automatic payments.

Brian Winslade, Senior Pastor at Windsor Park Baptist Church and national leader for the Baptist Church, said his church was one of the first to introduce Eftpos 18 months ago and would bring in credit-card facilities over the next few weeks.

"We would simply say it is a contemporary way for people to make donations to the life of the church."

Eftpos was a favoured method of payment among the elderly, who did not like carrying around much cash. Other churches said it was frequently used by young people.

Pastor Winslade said Eftpos use could be why donations had quadrupled in the past five years, although it was difficult to tell.

Fr Mike Wooller, priest in charge of the Whangarei Catholic parish, said he had no problem with people contributing to church funds through Eftpos, but he was surprised to see it happening in the church itself.

The collection was part of the service, he said, and was seen as part of people offering themselves.

EFTPOS New Zealand

NZ Herald

21 May 2002