St David’s in Austin offers church members and visitors electronic banking as checkbooks and cash disappear. Episcopal News Service reports:
In a day when we use our bank cards for everything from putting money in the parking meter to buying a car, St. David’s in Austin couldn’t help but feel the pinch when an age-old tradition started feeling, well, too age-old.
“When we added up the numbers, it was startling,” said Parish Administrator Terry Nathan. “Our plate offerings dropped 50 percent in the past two years. It’s clear that passing the plate through the pews is as outdated as the proverbial buggy whip. Our parishioners have quit using currency as their primary means of doing commerce, and the proverbial checkbook has all but disappeared.”
In August, St. David’s took online giving a step further and unveiled an electronic Giving Kiosk. Placed in the church’s lobby, the Giving Kiosk allows a parishioner or visitor to make an offering despite not having cash or a checkbook. The first time someone uses the kiosk, they are asked to enter their phone number, name and address. (They have the option of skipping this step if they wish to donate anonymously but, if not, their donation can be linked with their giving record.) With the swipe of their bank card, users are prompted to select the giving category and the amount. Receipts are sent via e-mail.