If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t carry much cash in your wallet anymore — if you carry any at all.
As you might expect, that has had an impact on a wide variety of things, including charitable donations to organizations like the Salvation Army. Now, the group is looking to change that by heading into the future.
This is how: the Salvation Army’s signature Red Kettles now accept Apple Pay and Google Pay for donations. So the next time you hear those ringing bells around the holidays, you don’t have to feel bad about not having any cash on you.
The charity’s Red Kettle signs will now have smart chips and QR codes that will allow shoppers to bump or scan their devices to make donations. The Salvation Army is calling the new initiative “Kettle Pay.”
“We just need to be kind of catching up and moving along with technology, so we can offer hope and resources to people that are in need,” said Amos Sheils, a Chicago area Salvation Army Major.
For a group that collects nearly 70 percent of its donations in November and December alone, the new technology should help raise funds in an era when cash is becoming an increasingly rare sight. That’s especially true this year, thanks to the shorter window between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“We are becoming increasingly cashless, and many people in the past would come by our kettles and say ‘I have no way to give because I don’t have cash on me,” said Salvation Army national spokesman Dale Bannon.
According to the group, funds receiving through Kettle Pay will be distributed based on a donor’s ZIP code. The Red Kettle charitable campaign is one of the world’s largest, with donations funding toys for kids, clothing for the homeless, food for the hungry, and more.
“So many people rely on the Salvation Army to help give kids a bright Christmas morning, and it’s important to emphasize Kettle Pay because we are making up for a deficit in terms of the calendar,” he added.