A lecturer at the University, whose research looks at the financial abuse of vulnerable people within the Church of England, has welcomed the announcement this week of the introduction of portable card readers for donations.
A lecturer at the University, whose research looks at the financial abuse of vulnerable people within the Church of England, has welcomed the announcement this week of the introduction of portable card readers for donations. Dr Mark Redmond's work looked at steps the church could take to protect people and outlined a "cashless church" as a significant step towards making the Church safer for everyone. Dr Mark Redmond discovered that financial misconduct was the second most common reason for clergy disciplinary measures in the Church of England. He also found that vulnerable and elderly people often became the targets of abusive relationships, with fundraising and calls for donations becoming intrusive and excessive. The Church of England has now made contactless, virtual terminal, and SMS mobile transactions available for events including weddings, christenings, church fetes and one-off donations. The readers will be able to take contactless payments, Apple Pay and Google Pay as well as chip & PIN. The Church has also announced trials for contactless readers for congregations for weekly services. Dr Redmond’s research granted him an invitation to present workshops at the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Summit, held in York last year. Dr Redmond, Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care, University of Gloucestershire said:"The move to introduce card payments is perhaps the single most significant step taken by the Church of England to date that will protect against financial abuse. As they move towards trialling electronic payments during church services, the public can be more assured as to where it is going, whilst the church can be certain that their income will increase. The next step will be to address the acceptability of individual clergy being benefactors of wills and gifts, and the introduction of a professional register that records these in a transparent manner.” Dr Redmond’s paper has been published in the Journal of Adult Protection.