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10/5/06

An ATM For God

The Giving Kiosk is the high-tech replacement for church collection baskets, allowing congregants to make donations using a debit or credit card. (Hand Out) The Giving Kiosk is the high-tech replacement for church collection baskets, allowing congregants to make donations using a debit or credit card. (Hand Out)
- Giving just got a whole lot easier for church congregations across the country with the advent of a new device that's a high-tech, modern version of the traditional collection basket.

It's been called an ATM for Jesus, but its real name is the Giving Kiosk.

"I guess people think it looks like an ATM," says Pastor Marty Baker, CEO of Secure Give, developers of the Giving Kiosk. "If you were going to call it that, maybe you'd call it an 'automatic tithing machine,' not an automatic teller machine."

The idea was developed by Baker, who says he's sold seven of them so far and believes demand will rise.

"People do not carry cash and do not carry a checkbook anymore - they live their life with a debit card in their hand," Baker says.

After all, since people pay for gas and groceries with a swipe of a card, why not give to their God that way?

Baker's company also provides an online giving service, but the real power of the Giving Kiosk is that it lives in the church.

"If a member is at church that day and God prompts them to give, they have an opportunity at that moment to do so," he says.

Baker says it's important to make sure the church doesn't fall behind the technological curve and stays on the cutting edge.

But if you think it's a step too far or you yearn for the good old days, Baker says you may want to reconsider.

"Years ago, people would bring animals and grain to the house of the lord as a tithe," Baker says. "Can you imagine the stir when they started bringing money?"

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