London

Don't carry cash? Salvation Army kettles now accepting tap debit and credit

The Salvation Army is introducing tap debit/credit machines to its annual kettle campaign in London this year.

It's the Salvation Army's response to a "cashless society"

Long-time Salvation Army volunteer, Don Taylor, says the response to the tap machines has been positive so far. (Yasmine Hassan/CBC London)

The Salvation Army is introducing tap debit/credit machines to its annual kettle campaign in London this year.

Volunteers were equipped with credit and debit machines last holiday season, but the local branch's special events coordinator, Jodie Yule said they weren't equipped with the tap technology.

"People had to insert their card, put in their pin. It takes a bit longer," she said.

Now people can just tap their cards to make a donation.

"You let us know how much you want to donate, we put in the amount just like you were paying for a purchase, and you use your debit or credit card like you were buying anything else," said Yule.  

The tap machines come in response to a growing "cashless society," she said, noting that the Salvation Army has actually been seeing an increase in cash donations in the past few years.

"We wanted to provide a way for people who don't carry cash to still be able to donate," she said.

Don Taylor, a long-time Salvation Army volunteer who was working a kettle at the west London Superstore on Monday, said the feedback has been positive so far.

"A lot of people are really quite amazed. I'll be standing here and they'll all of a sudden [say] 'oh you got debit!" he explained.

"I've yet to break into dance or anything trying to show it off, but I do my best."

Yule said tap machines are available at three kettle locations in London: Remark, the Superstore at Oxford Street and Hyde Park Road and the Valu-Mart in Wortley Village.

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