Contactless Offers Donors the Chance to Give More

February 3, 2017


A major trial of contactless charity boxes by Barclaycard in the UK has provided a clear confirmation that people will give more if they can donate using their card. In fact, the results of the trial – which ran for four months and involved 11 charities – showed that cashless donors gave three times as much. With economies around the world continuing to become more cashless, initiatives such as these are demonstrating that the time is right for solutions that facilitate contactless charity donations.

In recent posts, we looked at how in-person money collection technology could help charities compete in a cashless world and even address some of the issues of fundraising fraud. Statistics released by Barclaycard relating to the trial of their contactless boxes, however, indicate that such technology could also help nonprofits maximize donations.

Barclaycard’s Trial of Contactless Donation Boxes

The trial, which began in September 2016, involved 11 major charities in the UK, including: Barnados, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home; Cats Protection; The Design Museum; NSPCC; Oxfam; Prostate Cancer UK; RNIB; RNLI; Royal British Legion; and The Science Museum.

Barclaycard provided 100 contactless collection boxes, which were used in a variety of ways – from volunteers collecting at special events to boxes being placed next to cash registers at charity stores.

One of the participating charities, NSPCC, used ten of the collection boxes over 40 times at their organization’s events, as well as to gather donations at London Underground stations, public spaces and shopping malls. They found that the average donation – £3.07 – was higher than the average amount the charity receives through cash donations.

Charities That Only Collect Cash Are Missing Out on Millions

According to YouGov research commissioned by Barclaycard, by only accepting cash donations charities in the UK may be missing out on more than £80 million in donations every year. The same study also found that one in seven Britons admitted to passing up the opportunity to donate at least once over the last twelve months because they were unable to donate with a card.

An Idea Worth Replicating and Building On

Barclaycard’s trial has shown the potential for contactless donations, particularly in mature contactless markets. In addition to being well received by donors, this approach will help to increase fundraising efforts at a time when charities are receiving less donations – Charities Aid Foundation states charitable donations fell £500m in 2015.

With the right level of collaboration between FinTech, financial institutions and philanthropic organizations, there is no reason why similar initiatives can’t succeed in other contactless markets – such as Australia, Canada and the US.

Technologies that fully harness the capabilities of modern smartphones could even open up this kind of opportunity to all charities. An inexpensive and universal approach like Mobeewave’s, for example, would enable fundraisers and volunteers who do not have the resources or access to hardware solutions to simply use their phone to collect contactless donations in person.


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