Authorities of the Siddhivinayak temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesh, in India have introduced a prepaid, rechargeable card.

The card – given the name aashirwad meaning blessing or benediction – is for use by devotees who visit the temple on a regular basis. It can be transferred to friends and family and can also be given as a gift.

The card can used for buying devotional offerings, using the library, paying to see a holy person or the image of a deity, or buying an idol of the elephant god Ganesh.

Satish Mali, assistant executive officer of the temple trust, said: "We are the first temple trust in India to have a cashless card. These cards will be readily available at the temple’s office and it will make things easier for our devotees. It will also benefit us we will have a record of all the transactions and sales inside the temple. I am sure this will be a huge success."

A cashless card is the logical next step for a temple that is already hooked up to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, GoogleTalk and Skype. The temple, consecrated in 1801, is planning to launch apps for BlackBerry, iOS, Android and Symbian.


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