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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Trend: Cashless Society: God Takes E-Payments

No cash? God now takes electronic payments, too!
Places of worship are delicately introducing Sunday collections in cyberspace

According to Barna Group, a market opinion research group serving Christian ministries, 65 percent of adults contribute to churches and similar institutions, and the average amount in 2005 was $895 per donor. That is a 2 percent decline since 1999, when inflation is considered.

Companies that provide the service of electronic fund transfers to churches say they can increase contributions by 15 percent to 17 percent, simply by recovering contributions people would tend to miss because of vacations, bad weather or because they are having a busy weekend.

Direct withdrawals for collections were offered by 12 percent of churches, nationally, in 2005, according to the Barna Group. In 2000, only 7 percent offered the service. The largest increase is in the Northeast, where the use of the electronic fund transfers has quadrupled in four years.

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