The future of giving
Technology and public health are transforming the ways money changes hands. Here’s how churches can keep up
GlobalData plc predicted in January that the UK would be ‘at the very least … a predominantly cashless society by the mid-2020s’. However accurate that prognostication proves to be, that clearly seems to be the direction we are moving in, and the pandemic can only have accelerated the change. In addition to these gradual long-term changes, the pandemic has also created more sudden and hopefully short-lived problems for church finances. It looks as if churches that rely on cash giving and standing orders may need to rethink. Reform looks at some of the electronic giving services available for churches.
In 2015, Sjoerd van Oort was in church in the Netherlands. He was moved by the service, and when the collection bag came around he wanted to give – but he no longer carries cash, so he couldn’t. Realising that many people are in the same position, he came up with Givt, a way for worshippers to give during services using their smartphones.
The giver needs to install the Givt app, then, in participating churches, each time they want to give, they enter the amount on their phone and tap it on the collection bag. The collection bag contains an electronic ‘beacon’ which reads the donation before Givt processes the payment…
For a range of local church guides see www.urc.org.uk/information-guides
This is an extract from an article published in the September 2020 edition of Reform