Fundraising in the Digital Age: hitting the jackpot with contactless?

We’re in the midst of a major shift in the way in which we interact with charities, particularly on the high street.

In October, MasterCard confirmed that the average Briton carries less than £5 in cash – we also learned that 43% carry less than they did in 2014; 10% now don’t even carry a wallet and a further 24% are considering following suit. With statistics showing us that card transactions have increased 9% year-on-year for the past 3 years, there’s a clear trend in the UK moving from cash to card.

So knowing that 55% of charitable donations are made in cash (CAF, 2015), should we be concerned that the numbers are likely to continue to dwindle?

The answer is of course yes, but it seems there is a solution: contactless payments. This is a hugely popular, fast and effortless method of payment which has transformed the consumer experience at the check-out. There are currently 107.4m contactless cards in use in the UK, with 442.5m contactless transactions are made on average every month – so steps have been taken to capitalise on this.

Enter the contactless donation box; a portable, wireless box specifically designed for contactless payment donations. Trialled by Barclaycard in September 2016 to rave reviews and now used regularly by the likes of Barnardo’s, NSPCC, RNIB and Oxfam to name a few. This light, handheld box – sometimes shaped like a bucket for familiarity reasons – enable people to tap their card at a predetermined rate as they walk past.

So where do charities find themselves? Well for me, there’s always been a nagging voice in my head asking questions when the opportunity for a cash donation comes along: “do I have any cash…how much do I give…will I need it again later…?” then the moment is gone and into the back of my mind again. Digital is tangible – the number is often pre-registered, it is clean and easy with no questions as to your level of generosity or issues with paying for parking later in the day! I think that not only do charities have an opportunity to recover their lost revenue, but they can greatly surpass previous numbers moving forward.

Luke Osborne, 3rd Sector Practice Leader

Follow the link here to read more of Luke’s analysis of the key issues and news impacting the Third Sector.