Tap machines a simpler way to donate
First it was coins in the plate… then it was notes. And now… electrons?
At a number of parishes across the Archdiocese, parishioners are now able to tap their debit and credit cards to make donations during collections at Mass and other times.
The Catholic Development Fund (CDF) has purchased a number of Quest donation tap machines for people to utilize at parishes and other institutions.
“We began rolling these out just before Christmas,” CDF Manager Michele Murdock explained.
“The first ones went to the Gungahlin parish and also at Bungendore over Christmas.”
The tap machines can be used several ways, depending on the choice of the parish. Some are passed around with the collection plates, and some sit in a fixed position that parishioners can access as they choose.
“I know at Gungahlin they have two devices connected to chargers that go into their basket plates that they pass around the main body of the Church for their Saturday night Mass and at other times they have one in the foyer and another available as required.”
The machines are limited to “tap” transactions only and don’t allow insertion chip reading or strip swiping.
Machines are now in use in Gungahlin, Kambah, Goulburn and Tumut parishes, as well as St Mary Mackillop Hall, Eden, Marymead, CatholicCare and on CDF Loan (two devices for special events).
“We have 22 devices so far with more coming,” said Michele.
The amount is preset to suit each parish but can be changed for individual events, then changed back if required.
“Gungahlin charged $20 initially at Christmas and then in January they dropped it to $10,” Michele explained.
“Fives and tens seem to be the most common setting but you can have several devices with different amounts. South Woden had a Youth Mass recently and had one device set to $5 and one to $10.”
While it’s still too early to determine if the tap and go method of donations is raising more or less money, figures from one site suggest they’ve made $4,000 from the devices since December. From all of the devices in use, $9,700 has been raised.
“From my experience speaking to people at Bungendore as well, on occasions like Christmas and Easter where you get people coming that may not ordinarily come to Mass and may not think to bring cash with them that they’ve got the opportunity to give as well,” Michele said.
Devices are soon to arrive at Queanbeyan, North Belconnen Parish Churches (Kaleen & Evatt), Bungendore & Woden South. The CDF board has recently approved the purchase of 10 devices. These machines are complementing the CDF Qkr! Parish mobile app which is also growing in use in the Archdiocese.