The Elisabethenkirche, a church in Basel city centre, has installed Switzerland’s first cashless donation machine.
The Spend-O-Mat was installed in May this year, and works in a similar way to a cash dispenser. Instead of giving cash however, it allows users to donate to the church with their credit or debit card. Donations of up to 150 Swiss francs can be given through the machine, which also issues a receipt.
The church is working with Basel’s state bank Basler Kantonalbank to provide the service, which is managed through an online portal. This records the amounts donated and the resulting data can be accessed via a standard internet browser.
The machine is an import from Sweden where it is known as the Kollektomat and raises millions of Krona for churches every year, reaching a total of over 50 million Krona in 2013. While in Switzerland, customers generally still use cash in shops and restaurants, as well as for collections in the church as cashless payments become more popular, it is hoped that this will encourage more people to give in this way.