Church's 'ludicrous' tap-and-go collection plate divides opinion

One of Sydney’s most iconic churches has introduced “tap and go” collection plates in a bid to “come up to the 21st century” – but not everyone is feeling so generous towards the move.

On the back of feedback from their own parishioners, St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on Saturday evening rolled out their new collection plates which accept a $10 pay wave payment in just seconds.

“We need to change, we are just catching up to the rest of the world,” General Manager of St Mary’s Cathedral, Helen Morassut, explained to Yahoo7 News.

“We always had callouts that people don’t carry cash anymore… we’re moving towards a cashless society, that’s just the way we live now.”

The new “tap and go” collection plates only allowed donations of $10. Image: Supplied

The payment terminals, which were designed by EFTPOS provider Quest, were reportedly well received by those who attended the two masses over the weekend, Ms Mourassut said.

Given the time constraints, she said the payable amount could not be altered, adding that the $10 total was determined after looking back at recent donations.

“Multiple payments of $10 can be made by tapping your card once with several seconds in between each transaction,” the church stated in a social media post that was later deleted.

‘I’m Catholic but this is ludicrous’

The cathedral’s initial Facebook announcement last Thursday received more than 2000 comments before it was deleted – a decision that was condemned in their following post.

Facebook users, several of whom claimed to be practising Catholics, were forthright with their opinions on the cathedral’s efforts to “appeal to a younger generation”.

Saint Mary's cathedral in Hyde Park rolled out their

St Mary’s cathedral in Hyde Park rolled out their “tap and go” trial on Saturday evening. Image: Getty“As someone who was in the church for 16 years, I can safely say this was this most blatant display of money grubbing [sic] I have ever seen,” one woman wrote.

Another churchgoer disputed the $10 total, saying it shouldn’t be up to the church to select the amount.

“It’s not moving with the times, it’s a cash grab.”

“I’m catholic but this is ludicrous… you shouldn’t be told how much you put in if you opt for that option, it should be built better so that you decide how much.”

Ms Morassut said it was upsetting to see “naysayers” bring up the church’s recent wrongdoings in the comment thread.

She said it was too early to determine whether the tap and go plates had received a higher donation rate than usual or to establish if the plates would be rolled out at more churches.