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POS micro-donations get tech companies’ backing


A non-intrusive ‘electronic charity box’ could be appearing soon at a retail outlet near you, thanks to the backing of leading payment systems firm.

Pennies Foundation is a charity that offers a micro-donations option at the point-of-sale (POS) whereby customers can choose to give any amount of money to worthy causes whilst paying for goods.

Today IBM became the second software firm in as many weeks to confirm that it had developed a payment system which incorporated the service, after The Logic Group had previously confirmed the same.

Launched in November 2010, the scheme has already raised a total of £126,000, with many donations as little as a few pence, despite having just a limited roll-out across the country.

Organisations currently involved with Pennies include Domino’s Pizza and Travelodge but many retailers are set to join that list thanks to these new partnerships with systems firms.

Referring to the agreement with IBM, CEO of Pennies Alison Hutchinson said: “We see this as a springboard which will make a micro-donation option increasingly available through retailers.

“Since we launched the consumer response has been overwhelming with hundreds of thousands choosing to donate pennies to a range of charities through Pennies. We look forward to being joined by many more retailers in the coming months.”

IBM and The Logic Group both supply major high street retailers with chip and pin devices and any of the companies renewing their systems in the future will be able to upgrade their service to one supplying micro-donation capabilities.

A major advantage to asking for donations via a chip and pin machine at the POS, is that the charitable transaction is private and discrete, removing the possibly awkward necessity of cashiers having to ask if people wish to use the service.

The Logic Group says another advantage to their system is that payments are captured as a separate stock-keeping unit, meaning they are easily identified and can be settled quickly with Pennies.

Participating retailers will be given the option of either choosing a charity or number of charities who benefit from donations, or they will be able to install a system which allows shoppers a choice during the POS.

“As soon as we were approached by Pennies, we took immediate steps to enable the inventive charity approach it delivers for our customers,” commented Paul Russell, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager at The Logic Group.

“Times are tough for charities and research shows that the majority of consumers are receptive to donating electronic small change in this way.

“As cards increasingly become the de facto means of payment, the kind of spare cash that charities have typically collected in collection tins is decreasing.”

Published on Tuesday 05 July by Editorial Assistant

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