In Brief

Charities trial contactless boxes to combat decline in cash donations

People donating by debit or credit card typically give more

Charity boxes allowing shoppers to make donations with contactless payment cards are to be introduced in the UK.

Fundraisers hope the option will make up for a decline in cash donations, which is blamed partly on the rise in card transactions and the subsequent decline in people carrying cash.

There is also evidence to suggest that when people donate using their debit or credit card, they tend to make a larger average donation.

The roll-out follows a successful trial of boxes fitted with wireless receivers "in response to fears about the rise of the cashless society cutting off a lifeline for charities", says the Daily Telegraph.

During the trial, which included Oxfam and the NSPCC, donors gave an average of £3.07, three times as much as the usual cash donation.

According to Barclaycard, which developed the new donation boxes, contactless spending grew by 166 per cent last year. More than half of adults now make a transaction with a contactless card at least once a month.

According to YouGov research, one in seven people have admitted to walking away from giving a donation because they did not have any cash on them.

Cash now accounts for less than half of all transactions in the UK. According to the Charities Aid Foundation, charitable donations in the UK fell by £500m in 2015.

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