The Church of England (www.churchofengland.org) is making contactless, virtual terminal, and SMS mobile payments available to over 16,000 churches, cathedrals, and religious sites throughout England, in a bid to make donations and transactions faster and easier for the Church’s congregations.
The project is powered by Europe’s fastest growing company, SumUp (www.sumup.co.uk), whose payment solutions allow businesses of all sizes to collect money quickly and easily in-store and online. SumUp’s physical card terminal works in conjunction with the SumUp app for smartphones and tablets, allowing parishes to take card payments after the fully digital sign-up (which takes only minutes), with no recurring fees or contractual obligations.
The Church of England is looking to revolutionise how, in an increasingly-cashless era, its congregations can make donations (in total around £580 million annually) as well as to offer recognisable payment options to visitors and users for events (from weddings to christenings, church fetes and concerts, to funerals) and booking of churches and halls. Over 16,000 churches involved will have access to a portable SumUp Air card reader through the Church of England’s Parish Buying portal. These can be used to take contactless payments, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as chip & PIN and are capable of supporting 500 transactions without recharging. The pay-as-you-go pricing matches the needs of religious institutions, charging only a small transaction fee when the reader is used.
Individual parishes will also be able to integrate SumUp’s core service alongside, or within, existing point of sale (POS) systems and Cloud accounting services, as well as hardware such as tablets, printers, and scanners.
John Preston, National Stewardship Officer of The Church of England comments: “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 comments: “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.”
Alison Davie, Church Secretary at St George’s Church Hub, Stamford comments: “This technology from SumUp is a useful addition to us at St George’s Church. Our parishioners can occasionally find themselves strapped for physical cash, so it’s fantastic to be able to offer an alternative which is quick and convenient. We hope this is a step forward for St George’s and many other churches like it, in staying ahead in the modern era.”