Thyngs and the Poppy Appeal: tech powered donations in a cashless world

Thyngs and the Poppy Appeal: tech powered donations in a cashless world

No money? No problem. 

Money is changing – and we’re not just talking about the new fiver with Churchill on it.

According to research from MasterCard, over 43% of people keep less cash on their person than they did just two years ago.  In fact, the average Briton keeps less than £5 in their wallet or purse at a time. While our physical spending habits are decreasing, our digital spending is on the rise. MasterCard reports that the number of card transactions made increases by 9% each year, with the number of contactless cards in circulation now at 74.5 million in the UK.

This is no surprise, especially when you consider how slick and efficient digital payments are compared to cash. Why wouldn’t consumers take the easiest option available?

However, this doesn’t necessarily translate well when it comes to charitable donations. According to Charity Aid Foundation’s annual UK Giving Report, cash is still the most popular way for people to donate to charity. Fifty-five percent of donations were received in this way last year.

The UK Giving Report also estimates that the level of giving in the UK has fallen – £9.6 billion, compared to £10.6 billion the previous year. Perhaps this fall is linked to Brits’ reluctance to carry cash. Not only do we carry less cash, but when we do have it, we tend to hold onto it or save it for emergencies. This is bad news for a sector that relies on cash for its main source of income.


The solution 

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.

As electronic point of sale software develops and improves, the use of these systems in the charitable sector also continues to rise.

Since we launched earlier this year, Thyngs have worked with a number of partner in the charitable sector. So far, these projects focussed on using interactive thyngs to share information and raise awareness of charities and their work in a mobile format. However, we are thrilled to announce our first partnership where the Thyngs technology has been used to enable mobile donations.

Thyngs have partnered with WorldPay and Royal Bank of Scotland to enable mobile donations for the Royal British Legions’s 2016 Poppy Appeal.

Thirteen RBS branches across the UK have been kitted out with thyngs powered poppy trays and collection tins. If you want to donate to RBL but don’t have any cash, all you have to do is pop into one of these branches and tap or scan the thyng with your smartphone.

Not only does this make it even easier for smartphone users to give to charity, but it also allows the Royal British Legion to collect a greater amount, as each mobile donation automatically includes gift aid.

Neil Garner, Thyngs CEO, said: “It is a privilege to support The Royal British Legion’s 2016 Poppy Appeal in this partnership by transforming the donation tins and Poppy trays into interactive ‘thyngs’. There’s nothing simpler than tapping the poppy design to connect to a compelling digital experience to find out more, get in touch, or donate with Gift Aid. Quite simply better than cash in every way.”

We hope to see this scheme rolled out on a wider scale next year, and look forward to supporting other charities with the Thyngs tech in the future.

To read more about how the Thyngs tech is helping the Royal British Legion increase donations, check out the following articles in the Eastern Daily Press, Charity Digital News, UK Fundraising, and NFC World.

If you’re a charity seeking to increase mobile donations, Thyngs can help! We can provide you with a kit to set up your own mobile donations system, similar to the one used by the Royal British Legion. Drop us a line on to find out more.