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Contactless Card Payment Systems

Contactless Card Payment Systems
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Charities may be missing out on more than £80m in donations each year1 by only accepting cash donations, payments business Barclaycard has found, as four in ten (42 per cent) Brits say they carry less cash now than they did three years ago.


According to the research from Barclaycard, one in seven (15 per cent) people admit to walking away from a donation opportunity at least once last year because they were unable to give using a debit or credit card. This comes amidst predictions that cash will shift from accounting for roughly half (45%) of all payments made in 2015 to just one in four (27%) by 2025 – with debit card payments overtaking notes and coins by 20212.

To help charities adapt to evolving consumer behaviours, Barclaycard recently led a trial of 100 portable donation boxes, the first in the market to accept both Chip and PIN and contactless donations including those made by wearable and mobile devices.

Eleven national charities kicked off the trial in September 2016, using the lightweight, portable payment boxes in a number of different ways according to their fundraising needs – from volunteers roaming with boxes at special events to placing them next to the checkouts in charity stores.

Although it was only a short trial, the charities took more than £20,000 in donations – including one for £1,000 given to the NSPCC (see case study) – and reported positive responses from the public around the ease and flexibility the boxes introduced for donors looking to give to their preferred cause.

Despite the trial being scheduled to end in December 2016, some charities are still using the boxes due to their success, demonstrating the potential for these devices in a society where there are an increasing number of ways to pay. Barclaycard’s latest Contactless Spending Index revealed contactless payments grew 166 per cent in 2016, with half (50 per cent) of Brits saying they make a ‘touch and go’ payment at least once a month.

The trial 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 through handheld terminals, and the partnership has continued every year since. Barclaycard also enabled payments for the Penny for London scheme, run by the Mayor’s Fund for London from 2014 to 2016.

Barclaycard – which provides the acquiring technology that allows charities to accept payments through the donation boxes – led this trial, bringing together partners from across the industry. Visa, which first enabled cardholders to support their favourite charities using contactless in 2014, commissioned the pod, which was designed by Sprout. Payworks developed the donation box app, and integrated this with payment functionality inside the Miura card reader. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) consulted on the trial.


Due to their lightweight, portable nature, the boxes are easy to use on the street or at special events.

The charities involved in the trial including:

    Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
    Cats Protection
    The Design Museum
    Prostate Cancer UK
    Royal British Legion
    The Science Museum

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