Economy

Church donation plates now take credit cards in Fresno

FRESNO — Long ago, people gave God parts of their livelihood — goats, sheep, wheat and barley. Much later, they began plopping money into collection plates.

Now, some churchgoers are swiping their bank cards at machines that look a bit like ATMs.

"It's easier," says John Muscianes, who attends New Covenant Community Church in Fresno. "I don't have to write a check. It's convenient."

Places of worship have provided more options for tithing and offerings in the past decade. (A tithe is generally the 10th of one's income that is donated to a religious organization in weekly or monthly installments.) Some install links on their Web sites for worshippers to give online. Some provide options for automatic deductions from checking accounts.

Now comes a new twist: machines rolling into churches — called giving kiosk units. SecureGive, a company in Augusta, Ga., has been selling them since 2007, but sales have taken off only in the past year. About 325 churches nationwide use them.

Places of worship have provided more options for tithing and offerings in the past decade. (A tithe is generally the 10th of one's income that is donated to a religious organization in weekly or monthly installments.) Some install links on their Web sites for worshippers to give online. Some provide options for automatic deductions from checking accounts.

Now comes a new twist: machines rolling into churches — called giving kiosk units. SecureGive, a company in Augusta, Ga., has been selling them since 2007, but sales have taken off only in the past year. About 325 churches nationwide use them.

Read the complete story at fresnobee.com

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