Churches finds early success in advent of e-religion

North American churches looking to deploy automated kiosks to collect donations

In a bid to gain greater relevance within an increasingly young and tech-savvy congregation, some churches in North America are looking to deploy automated kiosks to collect donations from the faithful.

The image of a parishioner swiping a debit or credit card in church might strike some as incongruous -- the intrusion of consumerism into the domain of the sacred.

Pastor Marty Baker, however, dismisses such notions.

Baker, of the Stevens Creek Community Church, a Pentecostal church, says the device merely serves to facilitate a religious tradition in an increasingly digital world.

"It's just like an ATM [automated teller machine] for Jesus," said Baker, who together with Eric Bradley, a Stevens Creek churchgoer and programmer, began work on the Giving Kiosk back in 2004.

The first unit was beta tested and deployed in 2005 and since then 1,100-member congregation of mostly upper-middle class families has learned to accept the kiosk's sleek pedestal and computer screen that is not much different from those seen in commercial establishments.

Electronic kiosks are widely used in a variety of industries to facilitate processes such as registration and payment. Stevens Creek appears to be the first church to use the technology to accept donations.

The three 'Giving Kiosk' units in Stevens Creek accounted for more than US$274,000 or roughly 15 percent of the church's total donations for this year.

Reports of the machines' success have resulted in various churches around North America inquiring about the Giving Kiosk and SecureGive, a proprietary application developed by Bradley and Baker that handles electronic transactions.

"By the end of 2006, we will be in 14 churches and one nonprofit organization in 10 different states," said Baker.

Baker said the idea of installing kiosks in his church came to him when he noticed the increasing reliance of people on their debit and credit cards. "What would these people do if God prompted them to give, but somehow they didn't have cash in their pockets?"

Bradley wrote the program for SecureGive, while software developer and e-commerce firm Ingenux Corp. of Edmund, Ok. hosted the application.

Another software company, Q1-Technology, developed a secure personal identification number (PIN) debit system that integrated with Bradley's application.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nestor E. Arellano

Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?