Some churches have adopted digital forms of payment, especially mobile money transactions to collect tithes, offerings and other donations from their congregants.
According to state-owned Daily Graphic, the Prayer Palace International Ministry, located off the Spintex Road in Accra, is one of such churches.
The inscription ‘send your offering and tithes on MTN mobile money’ is projected on all screens after the church’s official MoMo numbers have been displayed.’
One of the leaders of the church, Lady Reverend Adaeze Ayoka, was reported as explaining that MoMo was a simple and convenient way to make contributions to the church.
"We stream live online and people participate in church activities via digital media and so MoMO allows them to make their financial contributions during the service," she said.
She stated that globally, digital transactions were taking over the traditional payment method and the church should not be left out.
“Christianity does not mean we should stick with the old system. The world is changing; things are not like before so we have to be able to modify our practices to make things easier for people,” Lady Reverend Adaeze Ayoka said.
She further explained that the mobile money numbers displayed were registered in the name of the church with the church’s certificates and so contributions go into the church’s account.
"Before you will be able to register, you have to use the church certificate to confirm that the church is registered," she explained.
Rev. Ayoka encouraged churches to make use of the digital payments system, saying “we are in a digital era so let’s migrate the church to that level to enhance the work of God.”
The government said last year that it was confident that by 2020 that Ghana’s economy would soon go cash-lite.
Speaking at the Ishmael Yamson and Associates Business Roundtable in Accra, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, charged the business community to be ready to embrace new technologies to remain competitive.
He said Ghana is almost through to being recognized as a cash-lite economy.
Government policies of integrating internet solutions like the mobile interoperability have so far been channelled at fostering e-payments, especially in the public sector.
“One of the things that we need to understand is that the private sector has been a partner in the development process and not a competitor, and for the government, it is very important that we understand the sort of energies that the private sector can unleash to help us in the development process,” Dr Bawumia said.
He added, “everything that we are trying to do is with the private sector.”
According to the Daily Graphic, the reaction of most people it interviewed showed that paperless payment was not new in churches, especially among the charismatics.
“Some opined that even in Orthodox churches, some dues and group contributions were paid to leaders via MoMo and so it was appropriate if the churches registered official numbers to prevent some individuals from mismanaging church funds sent to their personal MoMo accounts.
In an interview with The Mirror, Gifty Yeboah, a member of the Prayer Palace International Ministry said, "I have been paying my offering through MoMo and it is very convenient especially during evening service and all nights as I don’t have to worry about carrying cash.”
She said there were also instances when people moved to church service from work and didn’t have cash on them so MoMo made it easier to contribute. www