Poppy Appeal trials mobile payment technology

Mobile payment has taken a high profile step into the charity sector, with this year’s Poppy Appeal accepting donations via special contactless collection tins.

The Royal British Legion has teamed up with NatWest, Worldpay and Thyngs for a trial of the latest payment technology in 13 NatWest branches.

A collection tin developed by Worldpay doubles up as a contactless terminal, allowing people to donate £2 with a tap of their contactless card or by scanning the Thyngs sticker with their mobile phone.

Nick Telford-Reed, director of Technology Innovation at Worldpay, commented:

“We’re proud to be supporting The Royal British Legion. Charities face a huge challenge collecting donations in an increasingly cashless society, but our innovative technology provides them with an even greater opportunity. This is likely to be a growing trend in the charity sector.”

Thyngs cited Charity Aid Foundation’s annual UK Giving Report, which found that cash is still the most popular way for people to donate to charity — accounting for 55% of donations last year. Yet the report also estimated that the level of giving fell to £9.6bn in 2015, compared to £10.6bn in the previous year. One of the reasons for this may be the fact that people are carrying less cash.

“If charities are to continue to raise the required amount of donations to survive, a shift is needed in the way we encourage and enable people to donate to their chosen causes. Since the steady decline of cash is unlikely to cease, the best option charities have is to champion cashless donation options: either through mobile donations, or contactless card options,” Thyngs said.

If the trial is successful, the technology could be rolled out across the country for next year’s Poppy Appeal and also made available to other charities.

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