Contactless donation baskets debut in Strasbourg

The shift to contactless donation baskets for the liturgical collection is happening in the Diocese of Strasbourg, France, according to this article in InfoFrance.

The same approach has been used in the UK, where they have been in use since 2019, and the Netherlands. At this time, however, the switch is being regarded as a strategy for pandemic times. I have not yet seen this precise strategy in the United States, where online giving is increasingly encouraged but the passing of a collection basket at Mass remains a low-tech affair.

Perhaps this is because (in the US) the collection is already contactless, at least for the person who makes the donation. Most people drop their envelope or cash into the basket without touching it. On the other hand, someone does have to count and otherwise process those gifts by hand later on.

The device, inserted in a typical basket (or a plate in the UK) allows a donor to select the amount, then tap a credit card to pay. In dozens of Alsatian parishes this method is already used to make donations for votive candles and contributions to charity, the article explains. Advocates say it reduces the risk of theft as well as making gift-giving more convenient.

Churches have been hard hit by a dramatic drop in donations since the pandemic. By the use of this technology church leaders hope to increase revenue as well as to encourage donations from young people.


One comment

  1. In the UK, we are not allowed to pass collection baskets at all at present. Some churches have installed collection machines which accept credit card contactless donations, as well as having Donate buttons on their websites.

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