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Tap-to-Donate Technology ‘Revolutionising’ Charity Collecting

24 November 2016 at 11:45 am
Ellie Cooper
Contactless payment technology, similar to PayPass and payWave, is replacing old fashioned charity collection tins and “revolutionising” the way charities accept donations.

Ellie Cooper | 24 November 2016 at 11:45 am


Tap-to-Donate Technology ‘Revolutionising’ Charity Collecting
24 November 2016 at 11:45 am

Contactless payment technology, similar to PayPass and payWave, is replacing old fashioned charity collection tins and “revolutionising” the way charities accept donations.

Donation Point Tap, created by Melbourne-based payment technology company Quest, is a new channel for charities to raise funds indirectly without increasing staff or administration costs.

A individual can make a donation simply by tapping their card on the system, which displays the charity’s branding and the pre-set donation amount, typically $2, as determined by the charity.

The funds are then transferred to the charity’s bank account at the end of each day.

Quest chief executive Jan Mason told Pro Bono Australia News the system was created to address the decline in cash-based donation revenues.

“We were initially asked to look at providing a donation kiosk of some sort for the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick [Sydney],” Mason said.

“When we started that development it got us to look at a whole lot of other things that were happening in the charity market and talking to charities.

“Some of the feedback that we got was obviously that the coin donations had dropped significantly since the introduction of tap for low-value transactions.”

“[The number] of people where they might normally buy coffee for $3.50 and put the 50 cents in the coin tin was reducing and, in some cases, had reduced up to 45 per cent.”

“So as a technology company we thought, ‘well what… could we do to assist charities in overcoming the issue’.”

donationMason said, from there, building the system was a “natural progression”, which leveraged Quest’s existing tap technology.

She also said there were other benefits of using technology-based systems to collect donations.

“It’s set up as a merchant facility with a bank, the great thing about it is it’s a set-and-forget type product,” she said.

“So, in other words, once you install it the terminal, or donation point, settles to the charity’s account every day, so nobody’s having to go out to collect tins.

“There’s an online portal, which the administrators will be able to look at and see how much money’s coming in. If you’ve got a fleet of them you can see which ones are working well, which ones aren’t.

“The other benefit is obviously there’s a lot of security issues around coin tins and people stealing them, people being held up to take the charity tin with the coins in it, so this overcomes that as well.”

Once set up, Mason said the the only requirement of the retailer hosting the system was to provide a power outlet.

Mason said she wanted to create an affordable collection method for charities.

“We are a technology company and I have a whole staff that I have to pay and look after, but at the end of the day we’ve done this for the right reasons,” she said.

“This is not necessarily a money making venture for us, it is really a give back to the community. We have the technology and we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to create this product with our technology.

“I think the great thing about this is because it is such an affordable thing… that if you set it at $2 a tap it doesn’t take too many times for you to get the pay back.”

Following what Mason said was a “very successful” pilot, the Donation Point Tap was launched this month at the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) conference.

One of the key themes of the event was the need for charities to adapt to technological disruption and use new technologies to improve practices, including fundraising.

Mason said the response at the conference was positive.

“The feedback has been fantastic because it is, I think, where the future [is headed], we’re moving into a cashless society,” she said.

“We’re actually taking orders at the moment, so we have to do a manufacturing run of these and they’ll be available in the new year.”

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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