Salvation Army

Salvation Army rolling out contactless donation program in US

The pilot is rolling out across the East and West Coasts, enabling tap to give at nearly 2,000 Salvation Army Red Kettle stations

With the help of Visa and touchless payments company tiptap, the Salvation Army is rolling out a contactless donation program at 2,000 kettle locations around the US.

The pilot is rolling out across the East and West Coasts, enabling tap to give at nearly 2,000 Salvation Army Red Kettle stations in places like Washington, D.C., Southern California, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

Visa data shows U.S. penetration of contactless payments has doubled from just over a year ago with 400 million contactless cards now in circulation. It’s clear that enabling people to tap to give™ – quickly, easily and securely – has the potential to increase donation amounts and provide added support to those in need.

“Tapping to pay has become an integral part of everyday life, especially over the last two years. As the holidays approach, there’s tremendous opportunity to incorporate the simple, safe, touchless, and secure contactless payments that people rely on into charitable giving,” said Kimberly Lawrence, head of U.S., Visa.

“Now, giving back to your local community through one of the most recognizable charitable holiday campaigns is as simple as a tap.”

Visa, The Salvation Army and tiptap are committed to make the process of donating easier, and to providing support during what could be a challenging holiday season for many. Today, 62% of Americans say they have been living paycheck to paycheck since the pandemic began and 63.1 million Americans report that they have had difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the last week2.

The Salvation Army is the nation’s largest private provider of social services, and its Red Kettle campaign is a vital source of holiday giving. In 2020, the campaign generated $120 million in donations that stayed in local communities where the donations were made. This year the organization estimates it will need $175 million — almost 50% more than raised in 2020 — to support Americans struggling from ongoing financial challenges.

Expanding this traditionally cash-based donation program has the potential to bring an increase in giving – making every dime, dollar, and tap count. All you need to do is choose the donation amount when you tap your card, and you’re able to donate in seconds.

“Since the Red Kettle Campaign was first launched in San Francisco in 1891, The Salvation Army has always looked at different ways to engage our donors during the holiday season. It’s even more important now as our society is increasingly operating from a cashless economy. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to support their local communities,” said Major Darren Norton, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army’s Golden State Division, based in San Francisco.

“We’re impressed by the tiptap technology and are looking forward to offering a new cashless way that people can donate.”

This pilot program will be available at select locations across the U.S. tiptap has partnered with The Salvation Army in Canada for the past three years, to offer Visa cardholders a safe and simple way to donate at Christmas Kettles.

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