A contactless card reader is a small terminal that enables donations to be made to your church via contactless debit or credit card, or by using Apple / Android pay on your smartphone or watch, up to a value of £45.
They can be useful in several different ways – from enabling collections at special services and festivals, to taking payment for sales at church cafés and other social events.
You will need to select the right one for your church, depending on how much you want to spend and how you plan to use it. To find out more, visit www.parishbuying.org.uk or ring Joshua Townson on 01865 208 757.
Mobile phone giving
A QR code is a unique picture tile made up of small black and white squares, such as the example on this page, that can be read by the camera or a QR code reader app on a smartphone. It can be displayed digitally as well as being added onto anything that you print on paper, such as a pew card, an order of service, parish magazine or card. The code can also be read through plastic or glass, for example on a sign or noticeboard. GiveALittle, our recommended online donations provider, provides you with downloadable QR codes as part of the service. You can read more about GiveALittle here.
Are there different kinds of contactless card reader?
There are many different types of reader with widely varying prices and capabilities. The Parish Buying website has a survey to help you narrow down your options. You can also speak to Joshua Townson, the Generous Giving Adviser, on 01865 208 757 who will be happy to talk to you about different types of reader and how they might meet your needs.
What would I use it for?
A card reader can be useful in several different ways – from collections at regular services, or occasional services and festivals (such as Easter or Christmas), to taking payment for sales at church cafés and other social events.
How much do they cost?
The National Stewardship team has negotiated discounted rates with several different suppliers of contactless devices, including Goodbox, Payacharity, iZettle and SumUp. Card readers start from as little as £19 excl VAT, depending on features and functionality, such as being able to take donations “offline”.
Is there a monthly charge?
Some suppliers have a monthly support fee and some have a ‘per transaction’ fee. For detailed pricing, visit the Parish Buying website. Note that you will need to register for a free account to access full information.
What if we don’t have Wi-Fi or mobile signal in the church?
Some devices do not require permanent Wi-Fi or mobile signal in order to take donations, as they have a SIM card in them and can store transactions offline. The device will capture the card data and will store this until you are back in an area with signal. When the device has picked up signal, it will push these transactions through to the acquirer for processing. This is called a Deferred Authorisation.
Can a donor add Gift Aid to their donation?
Some contactless devices allow donors to provide their details so that Gift Aid can be claimed on their donation. In particular, devices which use SumUp (including Payaz terminals) can integrate with our preferred online donations provider GiveALittle. GiveALittle provides the option for donors to Gift Aid their donation.
Contactless donations can also be eligible for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS). Contactless (but not Chip & PIN) donations can be treated as though they were cash for the purposes of GASDS, provided that all the other standard GASDS criteria are met. This includes the maximum donation amount of £30. For more information – go to the Parish Resources page on GASDS.
Do we need a PCC resolution?
Opening an account with a Card Payment Services Provider is similar to opening a bank account, and should be authorised or confirmed by the PCC, and evidenced by a PCC resolution. You can read more about good governance and management here.
St Kenelm, Minster Lovell
St Kenelm’s Church is part of the Witney benefice and was built in the 1450s by the 7th Baron Lovell. The church receives many visitors each year, attracted by the nearby ruins of Minster Lovell hall.
As cash donations began to decline, the PCC considered acquiring a contactless card reader. Click here to read their story.
Holy Trinity, Theale
Theale Church is a Grade 1 listed building and a wonderful architectural treasure. It was modelled on Salisbury cathedral, consecrated in 1832 and was once sketched by renowned artist John Constable.
In summer 2019, they volunteered to trial the contactless offering plate. Treasurer, Stephen Bridge, writes about their experience here.
“We trialled the GBx Mini card reader during August 2019. The feedback from congregation members was that it was quick and easy to use. The trial proved to be a success and the PCC has now given the go-ahead to purchase one. We recommend the use of card readers to other churches.”
“I am happy to recommend the GoodBox Core. It is quick, convenient and well received by the givers. The ability to hold gift data when out of signal range is a real bonus. The existence of the kit also gives the Minister an opportunity to just simply raise the subject of a collection in service, which avoids any potential embarrassment with the less regular visitors in the congregation.”
“The congregation has actually happily accepted the unit, with a small core of people who have chosen to make this their regular way of giving. We decided to name the unit “Zac” (after Zacchaeus – the small tax collector!) and this has particularly endeared him/it to the younger families. “Zac” is now an accepted member of the church, and we continue to promote his use at every service.”