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ZSL Partners With SumUp for Digital Contactless Fundraising at Zoos

ZSL (Zoological Society of London), the international conservation charity behind London and Whipsnade Zoos, is unveiling the trial of a new digital fundraising technology that will allow visitors to make effortless contactless donations to support the Zoo’s 30,000 resident animals and their global conservation projects.

The partnership between ZSL and UK-based payments provider SumUp is a three-month trial which will see specially designed donation points installed at four locations across ZSL London Zoo, and three points soon to be available at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, will allow visitors to donate via contactless payment, Apple Pay, or Google Pay – in order to ‘feed’ their favourite species.

A SumUp donation point

Guests visiting the world-famous Zoo can find donation points at popular exhibits including Penguin Beach, Gorilla Kingdom, Land of the Lions at London. The donation options will allow visitors to select from a ‘dinner option’, either £5 to feed five of ZSL’s Humboldt penguins their ‘fish supper’ for a day, £5 to feed the Zoo’s gorilla troop a delicious ‘veggie banquet’, or £10 to help ZSL’s conservation efforts, including work safeguarding lions around the world.

SumUp’s Executive Vice President for Europe, Alexander von Schirmeister said: “There is a lot that can be accomplished with the tap of a card, so naturally we’re delighted that we can turn our technology to helping ZSL and its visitors look after the incredible species in the Zoos and across the world. In these challenging times, it’s never been more important to support institutions helping to make a difference in the world, and that’s why we’re passionate about supporting ZSL with payment devices.”

This new technology solution is part of ZSL’s efforts to address the funding shortfall following the Coronavirus-enforced lockdown, which saw the two Zoos close for a total of 29 weeks, the longest duration since World War Two, meaning ZSL has lost millions of pounds worth of revenue.

ZSL’s Director of Fundraising and Engagement, James Wren said: “ZSL is focussed on protecting threatened species around the world, and our two Zoos are the perfect showcase and hub for our global work. Home to incredible species, many of which are Critically Endangered, or even Extinct-in-theWild, we know that seeing these animals up close inspires our visitors and members to do more for the natural world – be that changing their behaviour to be more environmentally friendly, or raising money to support our vital conservation work.

“It’s our hope that installing these simple-to-use donation points at our two Zoos will make it even easier for our visitors to take immediate action for wildlife – a quick tap will make a huge difference for wildlife.”

Donation points

The donation points, which comprise of a SumUp Air card reader enclosed within a CollecTin More device, include a touchscreen with two donation amounts for visitors to choose from – which can then be paid via tapping a card or smartphone on the device lid.

SumUp’s expertise as a payment technology provider has been enlisted following their previous work with international charitable organisations such as The Church of England, Greenpeace, and Oxfam.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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