Lack of contactless ‘costs charities £80m a year’

Charities may be missing out on more than £80 million in donations each year by only accepting cash donations, a new Barclaycard report has found.

According to research from Barclaycard, four in 10 UK consumers carry less cash now than they did three years ago, while 15 per cent admitted to walking away from a donation opportunity because they were unable to use a debit or credit card. This follows separate Barclaycard research which suggested that cash will shift from accounting for 45 per cent of all payments in 2015, to just one in four by 2025.

In response to this trend, 11 national charities began a Barclaycard-led trial last September using 100 portable donation boxes, which accepted both chip and PIN and contactless donations. The charities took more than £20,000 in donations during the three-month trial, and reported positive responses from the public around the ease and flexibility of the boxes. The trial was scheduled to end in December 2016, yet some charities are still using the boxes due to their success.

Barclaycard’s latest Contactless Spending Index found that contactless payments grew 166 per cent in 2016, with half of respondents saying that they make a ‘touch and go’ payment at least once a month.

Paulette Rowe, managing director of Barclaycard Payment Solutions, commented: “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. We are proud to use our payments expertise once again to open up more opportunities for fundraising, and are excited to work with the charities to help them adapt the technology to best suit their needs.”

The contactless box with integrated payment functionality was developed by Payworks, while the card reader was provided by Miura. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) consulted on the trial.

The £80 million a year figure is based on the ONS estimate of 49,921,573 British adults aged 18+ and calculations by Barclaycard. A total 15.38 per cent of consumers surveyed said they have walked away from a donation in the past year because they could not give by card. This equated to 7,677,937 Brits. On average they walked away 4.31 times, with the average amount lost £2.48, with this equating to £82,067,941.

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