More than a quarter of UK charities saw a drop in their income last year as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures took hold, and payments became digitised. This has led to nearly a third of organisations worried about their future if their income does not recover.
With many traditional sources of income curtailed due to social distancing rules, such as the closure of charity shops and the stopping of bucket collections, many charities turned to new ways of raising money like online giving via social media. It is this kind of challenge that inspired Open Banking Excellence (OBE), the Open Finance pioneer, to partner with Open Finance and payments expert Moneyhub Enterprise, and Streeva, the creator of Swiftaid, to develop an innovative QR code solution to make donations easier for the public and more-cost effective for charities.
People can now donate by simply scanning a QR code, created by Moneyhub, on the OBE website and LinkedIn page using their phone. Moneyhub moves the payment directly from the donor’s bank account to the charity’s account, which receives the donation instantly.
The new system even offers automated Gift Aid via Swiftaid, instead of the usual cumbersome manual process, so the charities can easily claim an extra 25% on each donation and recoup some of the £500million lost each year through unclaimed Gift Aid.
Currently, people can use the QR code to donate to three fantastic charities: MyBnk, which offers financial education for young people; SSAFA, the armed forces charity; and EACH, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Although covid-19 has had an immediate impact on the charity sector’s ability to raise funds, donations have been declining in recent years, a trend that has not been helped by the dwindling use of cash. Not only do QR codes enable cashless giving, the use of Moneyhub’s Open Banking technology offers huge operational and cost efficiencies to charities.
Donors have complete control over their chosen charity and the amount they wish to donate without the normal fuss of setting up a payment in their banking app.
The payment is instant and less costly using the same Faster Payments infrastructure as standard bank transfers, so charities do not have to pay credit and debit card transaction fees or be forced to invest in point-of-sale card readers to accept cashless payments.
This means a higher amount of each donation can be used for good causes.
Speaking about the new initiative, Helen Child, founder of OBE, says:
“At Open Banking Excellence (OBE) we believe that Open Banking payments should be ubiquitous and that this is one of the best use cases in town! It’s our privilege to showcase the simplicity and security of Open Banking payments to our global community and raise much-needed funds for charities. I’m proud to be working with two smart fintechs, Moneyhub and Streeva, to create this powerful initiative.
“Together we’re on a mission to raise funds.
“The charities we have chosen to support are ones that resonate closely with OBE: MyBnk promotes financial literacy, which we believe is important to unlock the potential of every person, whilst EACH, a children’s hospice, supports children and their families in difficult times. We’re all busy building a future. These children don’t have one. I come from a military family, so I know that SSAFA plays a vital role in helping service people who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.”
Samantha Seaton, CEO of Moneyhub, adds: “We are proud that our collaboration with Streeva and OBE means that charities in particular benefit from QR code payments, initiated through our Payment API. It’s quick, easy and can minimise donation leakage. It is imperative that those who rely on cash payments, such as charities, have easy access to technology so they can adapt to survive.”
David Michael, Co-Founder and CEO of Streeva, says: “Helping charities gain more through the use of new innovations and technologies is needed now more than ever. I believe that with the right collaborations, we can make a huge difference to the charity sector.