LONDON - The Church of England rolled out contactless payment terminals in its churches and cathedrals on Tuesday, bringing the way it collects donations into the digital age.
The CofE, England's state church, was making portable debit card readers available to more than 16,000 places of worship to make donations easier and faster for congregations.
Cashless donation options will also be available at weddings, christenings, church fetes and concerts.
"There is a clear need for our parishes to introduce card and contactless facilities and we are excited to make this available," said John Preston, the CofE's national stewardship officer.
"How we pay for things is changing fast, especially for younger church-goers who no longer carry cash, and we want all generations to be able to make the most of their place of worship."
Card payments overtook cash in Britain in 2016, accounting for more than half of all transactions.
The CofE has been looking into how to modernize the way its congregations donate in an increasingly cashless society.
There was a trial use of the readers in 40 churches last year. They can handle 500 transactions without recharging.
The terminals need a church worker to input each transaction, so parishioners will likely walk past a manned device as they enter or leave a service.
The church is continuing to test passing a reader around the pews for the collection.
There are around 25 million baptised Anglicans in England and Wales.
The church takes about £580 million ($810 million, 660 million euros) per year in donations, largely from standing orders and event fees.
© Agence France-Presse