Payment innovation is helping us give, raise and do more for charity

Payment innovation is helping us give, raise and do more for charity

On World Charity Day, we look at how charities are evolving with the times to enhance the giving experience


Whether it’s a slice of sponge cake at your local coffee morning or a handful of spare change for the high street Christmas collection, charities great and small are changing to keep up with the way we like to donate. While nothing quite beats the sound of loose coins falling into a shaker, the reality is that as we move towards a cashless society, ‘cash-only’ collections are leaving some charities by the wayside – increasing the chances of no donation at all.

Back in 2017, Barclaycard found that not-for-profits could be missing out on a colossal £80m worth of donations per year by not accepting card payments as an alternative. To help combat these ‘lost’ contributions, we launched an innovative trial of 100 contactless donation boxes with 11 charities across the nation – from Barnardo’s to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. During the short trials, the terminals (with built-in contactless card readers) raised an impressive £20,000 in collective donations – including a single sum to the NSPCC to the tune of £1,000. Since then, contactless donation boxes are now becoming the new normal for charities to collect funds from the public.

In recognition of the UN’s International Day of Charity, and with just 9 per cent of payments expected to be made in cash by 2028 according to UK Finance, we explore how tech innovation continues to drive the need for card payment acceptance – transforming charitable giving in the UK.

Hel-Pingit along

Pingit continues to make it a cinch for family, friends, colleagues, the window cleaner (you name it) to pay, get paid and spend in the moment. Pingit Giving does exactly the same thing for charities – you can create a fundraising page to raise money for charities close to your heart in just a few taps.  

With organisations including Marie Curie and Save the Children among the list of popular recipients, those looking to raise money by running their first half-marathon or heading up the office bake sale can create a bespoke fundraising page via the app. By selecting a charity, target figure, and page name, participants can then replace endless forms with a simple shared link – giving them access to instant funds in a flash. Pingit Giving has no fees or charges so all of the money including any gift aid goes directly to the charity.

New kid on the block

From contactless to cryptocurrency – the blockchain effect continues to make waves in the fintech sector. Blockchain makes transactions fraud-proof by allowing financial information to be distributed but not copied and is now being developed by a number of new players to make charitable giving safe, secure and accessible to all – improving trust and transparency across the sector as a whole.

According to the Charities Aid Foundation, 43% of the general public are sceptical of donating to charity. Could blockchain solutions lead the way towards a new era of fundraising where users can give with confidence and ease?

Transforming donations with ‘Tap for Change’

With card payments overtaking cash for the first time last summer as reported by UK Finance, charities nationwide are adopting contactless donation boxes so as not to miss out on all-important contributions.

Partnering with charity payment experts LibertyPay, Tap for Change boxes allow organisations to accept contactless contributions fuss-free. Available as fully-branded terminals with pre-set amounts (which can be adjusted at any time), these boxes – whether displayed on a counter or brandished by volunteers at the front door – make it easy for donors to give, then quickly get on with their day. Each transaction is fully secure and fundraisers can even collect without a mobile signal or Wi-Fi connection. Research reveals that the average contactless donation hit an incredible £6.15 through ‘Tap for Change’ last year, indicating that people are willing to give more when they don’t have to root around for loose change; so much so that since replacing its static collection tins, Royal Trinity Hospice in London enjoyed a five-fold increase in donations.

Since Barclaycard’s trailblazing roll-out of ‘box trials’, contactless giving is making it easier for both large and local charities to keep those donations rolling in but there is still room for more growth.

Ed Black, Director of Innovation, Barclays Payment Solutions, explains why this is the case, “The charity sector is a large untapped market when it comes to innovations in accepting payments and there is definitely scope to bring in new technologies to help, whether it be for one-off fundraising initiatives or for the larger more established players. One area we are looking at is QR codes, where you can simply scan a code on a poster to make a donation to a given cause. This works well for fundraising activities needing a quick response, such as a disaster appeal, where you can print posters with QR codes for a relatively low cost to put up in a shop or at an event. This is just one of many examples of how payment innovation is helping us collect, give and do more.