Queen Penny

Barclaycard Uses Contactless for Charity

Barclaycard’s contactless charity bucket

While not strictly an advancement in the world of payment technology, Barclaycard has teamed up with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for the ‘Penny for London’ charity campaign – a strategy to use contactless cards to help donate to charity.

The technology works by collecting small donations when commuters use their registered contactless debit or credit cards to pay for journeys in London on TFL services, and National Rail services that accept contactless payments.

Donations are then aggregated into one debit payment at the end of each month and then given to Penny for London to be distributed via the Mayor’s Fund for London charities and non-profits, including Cash for Kids and The Prince’s Trust.

By visiting Pennyforlondon.com, users can decide how much they want to give, from one penny to ten pence per contactless transaction. They can also keep track of their donations online, amend donations and even cap them at a specific limit if they wish. It’s really easy to sign up too as you can download the mobile app or complete it online.

The success of contactless payments for London transport networks is what inspired Barclaycard to kick-start this initiative for charitable giving; the idea being that if a large number of Londoners sign up, penny donations will add up to make quite the cumulative impact. The best thing is, there’s absolutely nothing customers need to do beyond signing up, and merchants have to do nothing to make their NFC units work with it either.

“We’ve worked closely with the Mayor’s Fund for London over the past year to bring this fantastic initiative to life,” explains Philip McHugh, CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions in the press release. “In a world-first, we designed this new contactless payment system to make the process of giving to charity as quick and easy as possible. We hope all of London will get behind the Penny for London scheme as these small donations will help make a big change to young people’s lives.

“With around half of all the UK’s contactless spend made here, London is the contactless capital. As increasing numbers of people move from cash to card, we see this micro-donation technology being able to help companies support their citizenship programmes. We hope it is adopted by other cities here and around the world in the future to ensure charities continue to thrive.”

It’ll be interesting to see if this is an initiative that takes off as it could be yet another way to prove the usefulness of contactless payments technology as a new way to pay for goods and services. If just a slither of as many people take up the scheme that already use contactless payments for London transport, it’ll raise a lot of money.

[Image: Tristan Martin]

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