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From Giving Kiosks to Frequent Flyer Miles

 - Jul 13, 2007
Churches are embracing financial institutions and technology to generate donations.

An Episcopal Church in Texas is allowing parishioners to give tithes and offerings automatically through their credit cards. "They want to get the points, and that's fine,'' says Bobby Brown, the church's business manager.

Another innovation is the ATM-like "Giving Kiosk'' which lets you swipe a credit or debit card as you enter or leave church.

Companies as ParishPay and Vanco Services have emerged to help churches collect by bank draft, credit card and debit card.

And Visa USA saw its volume at religious organisations climb 21 per cent last year.

The trend toward high-tech giving is unmistakable, and so are the varying comfort levels of churches. However as generations emerge who simply don't carry cash the crassness of this trend may in time simply be realistic.