Oddly Enough

Do you take this credit card?

An employee swipes a customer's credit card through the card reader at a restaurant in Tokyo in this February 19, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Issei Kato

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Guests at an Israeli wedding hall can now insert a credit card into a machine at its entrance, tap in a sum and leave a gift for the bride and groom.

“It’s new in Israel and the world,” Aya Alon Kaufman of the Gan Oranim hall in Tel Aviv said on Israel’s Channel 10 television. “It’s very convenient ... guests can give a gift even if they forget their chequebooks.”

She said couples pay 500 shekels (78.36 pounds) to rent the device, which resembles an automated teller machine, and the recorded funds are transferred into their bank account the next day.

The machine, shown being used in the television report, prints out a “deposit” slip with the guest’s name, which can be put into an envelope along with a congratulatory note and inserted into a slot in the device for the couple to retrieve.

Rather than bring boxed gifts, guests at Israeli weddings usually leave cash or cheques in envelopes they slip into a safe placed at the reception hall’s door.

Writing by Jeffrey Heller