A growing number of Swedish parishes are now taking donations through mobile apps, with a 13th-century cathedral in the city of Uppsala even accepting credit cards, according to Bloomberg.
The Scandinavian country is now one of the most cashless in the world, with most banks and many shops and museums refusing to handle cash and even Stockholm’s homeless accepting cards as payment for their fundraising magazine.
Statistics Sweden reported there was just 56.8 billion kronor (US$6.4 billion) in cash and coins in circulation so far this year – the lowest level since 1990.
Even God goes digital
Technological innovation is behind the shift. Cash alternatives, such as banking app Swish, which has 5.5 million users in Sweden, also cost less and lower the risk of money being stolen.
In the Jarna-Vardinge parish, the use of Swish has actually increased church coffers since many of its 7,500 members are not just throwing in spare change any more.
“One thing that’s quite funny is that when you collect these days, there are some who will raise their mobile phone in the air to show that they are giving,” church spokesman Mats Lagergren said.