Barclaycard’s digital donation boxes help charities tap into the contactless boom

By Oliver Smith 30 January 2017
Photo by Adrian Brooks/Imagewise.

We're just not carrying cash anymore, and charities are suffering.

Our shift to contactless is unrelenting, swapping bulging pockets full of pennies for the simple tap of a card or smartphone.

It’s a shift that has left some people in the lurch.

Buskers have been hard hit by our lack of loose change, and charities are suffering too.

Read more: Can buskers survive in a cashless society?

Charities missed out on £80m in donations last year because they can’t accept card or contactless payments, according to Barclaycard. A recent YouGov study found one in seven of us walk away from making a donation if we can’t use our card.

But that’s about to change.

Digital donations

11 UK charities have been trialling a new contactless donation box that can accept chip and PIN, contactless or cash donations.

The pilot of 100 next gen donation boxes raised more than £20,000 in donations for charities including Barnardo’s, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and the NSPCC.

“Feedback from the trial has been extremely positive; our charity partners told us the boxes were simple to use, adaptable to a variety of situations and vital in securing donations where it may not have been possible before,” said Paulette Rowe, managing director of Barclaycard Payment Solutions which developed the new box.

It’s not the first time contactless payments have been trialled – spare a thought for Smudge, the contactless charity dog – but this new digital donation box seems better suited for the mass market.

With the success of the trial Barclaycard is now exploring ways to bring the new contactless boxes into widespread use among more charities.

Lets hope they do because with cash now accounting for less than half of all transactions in the UK – and its use expected to decline to just a quarter of transactions by 2025 – charities and buskers will need all the help they can get.