Six reasons charities should consider contactless mobile donations

Six reasons charities should consider contactless mobile donations

In April we announced a partnership with Angal to streamline cashless donations for our clients, enabling them to turn collection boxes into mobile donation points. Offering an affordable alternative to contactless terminals, Angal’s collecting boxes can now be supplied with our contactless mobile donation technology already embedded. Supporters simply scan or tap the special labels with their smartphone to donate via credit/debit card or Apple Pay, safely and securely.

There’s been a lot of publicity about contactless card collection tin trials over the last few months, but here are just five reasons charities might want to consider taking contactless mobile donations as an affordable alternative.

1. Cost

A contactless card terminal embedded in a collection box, like those used in recent trials, requires a significant investment up-front (around £200 for a single unit). The high-profile trial by Barclaycard, for example, may have taken £20,000 in three months but at a cost of £200 for each of the 100 collecting boxes it didn’t break even. Contactless mobile solutions provide a low cost option (the technology can be added for as little as 60p per box) that is within reach of most charities and which start generating funds much sooner.

2. Gift Aid

With contactless card donations there is no option for supporters to add Gift Aid to their donations. Whilst the new Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) rules do allow Gift Aid to be claimed on contactless card donations under £20, the total claim is limited to the lower of £8,000 or ten times the amount of Gift Aided donations in a single tax year. Contactless mobile solutions allow supporters to make explicit Gift Aid declarations which allow charities to reclaim the maximum amount.

3. Flexible donor experience

Contactless card terminals provide a pretty uninspiring donor experience. Tap a contactless card on the tin to donate a preset amount and that’s basically it. Contactless mobile solutions – because they are delivered via the donor’s own mobile phone – are far more flexible and engaging. They allow the donor to choose the amount (without having to ask for it to be changed), provide them with information about how their donation will be used, and can even include a thank you message/video. Above all, the donor is always in complete control, something that is vital given the increased scrutiny of charity fundraising practices.

4. Scale

Because of the high cost of contactless card systems, it is unlikely that many charities will be able to deploy them in large volumes. For the price of a single contactless card donation tin, charities could buy at least 40 collecting boxes and have them enabled for contactless mobile donations. And, because our technology can be applied to any object, turning other objects like posters, shop windows, and even staff and volunteer ID badges makes it possible to take a mobile donation from just about anywhere.

5. Return on investment

The huge cost differential between contactless card and contactless mobile donation tins means that the latter provide a much better return on investment, and quicker. For example, ten contactless card collection boxes costing £1,000 (a conservative estimate) each taking £66 a month (the average from the Barclaycard trial) would deliver a return on investment of around 860% after costs (and assuming all Gift Aid could be reclaimed via the GASDS). A contactless mobile collecting box costing only £5 and taking just £10 per month, on the other hand, could provide a return on investment of 2,500%.

6. BONUS REASON 25 May 2017: Donation value

Since first publishing this post, Apple has announced that more than half of contactless payments terminals in the UK will now accept Apple Pay transactions of more than £30. This means that charities can take higher donations through contactless mobile solutions than through collecting tins that are limited to accepting contactless cards.