Now In Churches: ATMs!

Churches are stocking up on ATMs thanks to a new IRS rule that requires taxpayers to closely document their charitable giving. By placing an ATM in the lobby, congregants can collect a paper trail, and churches can collect tithings. It’s win-win. According to Time, the practice isn’t new:

Large urban churches have been accepting credit cards for several years, tapping into the Generation P (for Plastic) aversion to carrying cash. Pastors like to tell jokes about parishioners collecting Frequent Flier points on the way to heaven. A recent Dallas Morning News poll found that 55% of 200 local churches accept credit and/or debit cards.

Automatic checking account withdrawals are used by some churches, and more recently, ATM-like kiosks are now available in many church corridors and lobbies, where parishioners can swipe a card and receive a printed receipt, which they can either save for the IRS or plunk into the collection basket with a flourish, so pew mates will know they’re not spiritual freeloaders.

Despite wanting to appeal to “Generation P,” many churches only accept debit cards to avoid getting ensnarled in congregant bankruptcies.

The ATM in the Church Lobby [Time]
(Photo: spcoon)