New online and mobile payment options such as PayPal
, Apple Pay and Android Pay are providing convenient ways to pay for almost anything, and charity donations are no exception.
Digital wallets are quick, easy and secure. 24% of people in the UK now use digital payment apps and platforms in place of carrying around plastic and having to re-enter their details manually.
That's why children’s charity the NSPCC has updated its fundraising operation
with a focus on digital wallets to ensure donors find it as easy as possible to give.
The move has seen the charity embrace these digital wallets, or e-wallets, whereby individuals can give via devices such as mobile phones and use a variety of payment methods including PayPal
> See also: NSPCC overhauls digital giving operation
This has led to an increase in donations and seen the charity move away from a traditional voluntary sector fundraising focus on direct debits.
The upgrade has been carried out by the NSPCC
alongside agency WPNC
and started two years ago.
Both agency and charity are urging other voluntary orgaanisations to ensure they are making their digital giving process easy for donors, particularly those who are young and more digitally savvy.
Louise Corden, Lead Digital Producer for the charity, explains why its online donations system needed sprucing up.
“It wasn’t optimised for mobile. At that point 50% of our traffic was coming from people from mobile devices and we also knew that it didn’t incorporate any of the new payment options that have increased in popularity, so we did a complete redesign of our donations pages,” says Corden.
A test followed in Christmas 2017. This looked at reducing donation steps, ensuring direct debit is still an option and also to add further options to pay. Payments through PayPal are now in place, with options to pay by Apple Pay and Google Pay also being planned.
The move increased the amount people give to the NSPCC with WPNC Deputy Group Chief Executive Office and Digital Managing Director Vicky Reeves saying the ease of options has helped achieve this, as has a focus on security because donors payment details do not have to be inputted again as they are already stored by PayPal.
> See also: Charitable giving being transformed by younger donors, digital payments
“When you are entering information for a direct debit you are entering your name and address and lots of extra fields, it can be off putting,” says Reeves.
“With PayPal for example you have those details already in your PayPal account. It already has your name. It already knows who you are, so in the background we can grab that information.”
She adds: “For the potential donor they feel more secure as they are not having to enter in their bank details as well.”
She advises other charities to follow the NSPCC’s lead by tapping into wider society's increasingly diverse digital payment methods, especially as some payment cards now do not contain account number information.
“Look at how we pay for Netflix or Spotify or Amazon Prime, all of those are generally done by credit card and PayPal rather than direct debit,” says Reeves.
Direct debits could become obselete
Furthermore, within as soon as five years direct debits could be obsolete, she believes.
“Long term possibly,” says Reeves. “It will be a long time though. It won’t be in the next year or two. It would be over the next five to ten years. It could well be that is the case.”
She adds that among many charities there is a “misconception” that “once people arrive on the site and are incentivised to donate that they will give regardless of their experience. But we know from lots of testing with NSPCC and other charities that this is not the case”.
The focus of the NSPCC’s digital payments overhaul has been to keep up to date with new trends. But Corden also stresses the importance of ensuring its payment options still appeal to those who like to use direct debit.
> See also: Payment gateways for charities - which one is right for you?
“You have tens of thousands of donors across the country who give to charity by direct debit and I think the ones that currently do will continue to do.
“But for any charity looking to attract new and young audiences they need to make sure they are keeping up with the payment methods that people are actually using.”
Corden adds that the charity is now considering wider activity to promote the new payment methods.