By not accepting card donations charities miss out on £80m a year

Being altruistic is becoming harder and harder as payment innovations create a chasm between how people want to donate and how charities can accept the donations. According to new research from Barclaycard, one in seven people (15%) walk away from a donation opportunity because it wouldn’t accept credit or debit cards. The payment company said that by only accepting cash donations, charities are missing out on £80 million a year in donations.

image004-2And it looks like that figure will continue to rise unless charities innovate quickly. The research found that while cash famously accounted for roughly half (45%) of all payments made in 2015, in 2025, it will only make up a quarter (27%). Debit cards alone will overtake notes and coins in 2021.

One solution tested by Barclays is contactless donation boxes. The company conducted a trial using 100 of these boxes, which accept Chip-and-PIN, contactless and mobile donations at 11 charities including NSPCC, Oxfam and Barnardos. The boxes were placed at special events, checkout points in shops and carried around by volunteers. At the end of the trial, which lasted from September to December of last year, Barclaycard said the charities accepted £20,000 more in donations.

In a special case study with NSPCC, the charity used 10 contactless donation tins over 40 times at its events, tube stations, public spaces and shopping centres by volunteers. Crucially, the average donation amount of £3.07 (although there was one of £1000!) was higher than the charity gets through just spare change.

The responses to the trial were positive and some of the charities are reportedly continuing to use the boxes. Barclaycard’s box is trailed just weeks after ING announced its own contactless donation tin, in partnership with Whydonate. The Dutch bank’s argument for such an innovation comes from figures that suggest over half (52%) of people do not keep cash at home, meaning such contactless boxes tap into an important gap.

Barclaycard’s own figures show that contactless payments increased 166% in 2016, with half of British people saying they make a ‘touch and go’ payment at least once a month.

Chris Allwood, Head of Product Development at CAF, said:

“People in the UK donate around £10 billion to charity every year. However, a rapidly growing number of them can no longer make donations on the street when they feel inspired to do so because they have stopped carrying cash. This makes it vital that charities are able to accept payment by debit and credit card.”

Barclaycard’s managing director of payment solutions, Paulette Rowe, said that these contactless boxes will allow charities to tap into new payment options. “Raising more money no matter how their donors choose to give – whether that’s with cash, through a mobile device or by using a debit or credit card.”

(Photo Credit: NSPCC)

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