New smart posters are set to be displayed on shop windows to make it easier and quicker to donate to homeless charities.
The contactless machines will mean that shoppers can make donations simply by tapping their bank card on the display.
Nationwide is trialling the new scheme at the building society’s Union Street branch in Bath, Somerset, with each tap sending £3 to homeless people in the local area. Users can use it multiple times per visit.
In the first week, it’s already raised £400.
The initiative is designed to make it easier for people to donate money to the cause, aiming to also give confidence to people who feel uncomfortable about giving money straight to the homeless.
Nationwide branch manager Stephanie Pritchard said: “At a time when many people don’t have spare change or may not wish to hand it directly to someone who is homeless, having a contactless point in the window of the branch has bridged the gap.
“As a branch we are very much here for the community.
“This novel way of raising money for a fantastic cause is a great example of how technology is playing a role in helping society, one tap at a time.”
The ‘Good Start Tap to Donate’ scheme, is being managed by local homeless charity Julian House, and was developed with Nationwide Building Society and Bath Business Improvement District.
All money raised will go towards the Julian House Good Start fund, which will help improve and eradicate homelessness in Bath and North East Somerset.
Contactless payment use is rising rapidly. In 2018, its usage increased by 31 percent to 7.4 billion payments, according to UK Finance, as cards without the contactless function began to be phased out.
With less and less people carrying cash on them, it’s become more difficult to donate to traditional charity buckets, or even by handing funds straight to rough sleepers to put towards nights in hostels.
Roanne Wootten, operations director for Julian House, said: “Tapping could fund welcome packs, which include toiletries and sanitary products in crisis accommodation, new bedding and essentials when moving into supported housing, a birth certificate, a passport or a driving licence.
“Fundamentally it is about the person and what they need to help them to come off the streets – it will be different for everyone.”