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Barclaycard Hooks Up Contactless Tube For Charity Donations

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Mayor of London launches Penny for London scheme which will let commuters donate every time they tap in

Barclaycard has unveiled a new scheme which it says will make donating to charity even easier for London’s commuters.

The payments provider has teamed up with the Mayor of London’s office to launch Penny for London, a new initiative which will allow registered users to donate every time they use their contactless credit or debit card.

Donations, which are regulated via the Penny for London website, can be as little as 1p, with Barclaycard saying that it initially hopes to attract around a hundred thousand customers to raise £1.8 million for good causes. The scheme is open to anyone with a contactless Visa or Mastercard card, and you don’t need to be a Barclaycard customer to sign up.

Each month, Barclaycard will calculate the donation due from each consumer.  If the monthly amount totals 49p or more, it is debited from the individual’s nominated current or credit card account.  If it is less than 49p, the amount then rolls over into the following month.

Tube TfL contactless Barclaycard (1)Untapped?

The scheme was launched today at London Bridge Underground Station by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, whose Mayor’s Fund for London will help distribute the money raised to its designated charities, which include both charities and other not-for-profit organisations including Cash for Kids and The Prince’s Trust.

“Penny for London is a big, bold idea that will revolutionise the way we give to charity,” Johnson said. “The latest contactless technology is going to help transform the lives of thousands of young people across the capital. Enabling people travelling around the city to pool their pennies could potentially add up to hundreds of thousands of pounds. And the best thing about it is just how simple it is. Just sign up and tap in!”

Barclaycard, which has designed and built the new contactless payment system, says it is currently seeing around 200,000 journeys using contactless payment across the TfL network every day, a huge untapped pool for donations.

“The UK is probably one of the leading contactless markets in the world,” the CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions, Philip McHugh, told TechWeek Europe. “It’s really one of the biggest markets for contactless out there…and London is probably one of the best contactless markets around.”

McHugh said he believes charities need to do more to embrace micro-donations and mobile technology, with Barclaycard also helping to support London Poppy Day with volunteers across the capital helping people make contactless donations.

The company notably played a central role in Transport for London’s project to introduce contactless payments across the whole London transport network, which saw over one million uses within its first nine days of being in operation.

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