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Donate The Change and Barclaycard join forces to introduce contactless charity wristbands

Contactless payment wearables make a donation to a chosen charity when used to pay for goods and services

Thu Apr 27 03:00:00 EDT 2017

Fintech company Donate The Change and leading payments business Barclaycard have partnered to introduce a new service, set to revolutionise digital fundraising opportunities for the UK charity sector.

Combining the surge in wearable technology with the craze of recent years for wearing a charity wristband to proudly show affinity to a cause, a new range of wearable devices will enable users to automatically donate the small change from any contactless payment they make to charities of their choice.

Developed by Donate The Change and powered by Barclaycard’s bPay contactless chips, the wearables can be used to make ‘touch and go’ payments for £30 and under without fumbling for cash or entering a PIN. When a purchase is made, it triggers an automatic donation to the wearer’s chosen charity.

A range of new Donate The Change devices – including bracelets and keyrings – will complement the existing bPay key fobs and loops that attach to watches and fitness bands. Each contains a bPay chip that links to a secure digital wallet and can be used by anyone holding a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card.

Users can keep on top of their spending with real-time balance updates and instant access to their transaction history online, and auto top-up functionality can be used to add funds to their account when the balance falls below a pre-set level. Individual donation rules – including monthly donation caps – can be changed online or through the Donate The Change app, which can also be used to remotely shut down the chip and device if it is lost or stolen.

The technology will help charities adapt to evolving consumer behaviours, benefit from a new income stream and cut the cost of handling cash donations. Research by Barclaycard earlier this year found that charities may be missing out on more than £80m in donations each year1 by only accepting cash donations.

The partnership is the latest milestone for Barclaycard, a pioneer in payment solutions in the charity sector. The company first partnered with The Royal British Legion in 2012 to introduce acceptance for card donations during its annual Poppy Appeal. Barclaycard also enabled payments for the Penny for London scheme, run by the Mayor’s Fund for London from 2014 to 2016, and last year led a trial of contactless donation boxes with 11 national charities, allowing them to accept donations by credit and debit card, wearable and mobile devices.

Tami Hargreaves, Commercial Director, Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard said:

“This partnership provides a really neat way of helping donors give to their chosen charitable cause on a more regular basis, whilst proudly showing their support with the branded wearables. Charities meanwhile benefit from the contactless payment revolution as the donors go about their normal day, buying things using a choice of contactless-payment wearables and donating to a cause close to their hearts.”

Mike Dunn, CEO of Donate the Change, said:

“This partnership creates a new era in charity fundraising by linking fintech and trends in changing consumer behaviour to enhance the donor experience whilst enabling charities to increase their fundraising revenue streams and build closer relationships with donors.

“With recent government research showing digital technology had the potential to increase charity giving by up to 600%, our service presents a great opportunity for charities of all size and scale to tap into a new way of fundraising.”

Initially, the wearables will be available with Donate The Change branding however by Autumn, charities will be able to create their own variations, allowing donors to illustrate their affinity to their chosen causes. Any charities or businesses wishing to register their interest should visit http://donatethechange.org/pre-register/.

For more information please contact Tom Foxton on 0207 116 7285 or tom.foxton@barclaycard.co.uk.