Salvation Army can take mobile payments now - Brownsville Herald: News

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Salvation Army can take mobile payments now

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Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 7:00 pm

CHICAGO _ Mobile pay technology is coming to the Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign.

In an effort to expand its reach to people who don’t carry cash, donors this year will be able to use Apple Pay or Google Pay. Users can tap their smartphones on a sticker and make a donation.

People with older phones can scan a QR code for the same process. Red kettle bell ringers will continue to accept cash as well.

Scott Justvig, executive director of development and communications for the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division, which includes 13 counties surrounding Chicago, said he hopes that enabling mobile donations will motivate younger generations to contribute to the holiday campaign.

About 70% of all the money the Salvation Army collects for the year comes during the holiday season, said Jackie Rachev, metropolitan division spokeswoman.

Last year, the Salvation Army raised $25 million in the city of Chicago alone, Justvig said. Those funds help provide meals to homeless families and buy Christmas toys for children. In Chicago, the Salvation Army assists families with rent and job training programs at the Shield of Hope center in Humboldt Park.

Adoption of the technology comes as Americans pivot away from using cash. In a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, about 29% of respondents said they made a purchase without cash in a typical week, up from 24% in 2015.

The Salvation Army tested the cashless option last year in Kansas City, New York, Dallas and Seattle. While it did not raise large amounts of money during its first year of testing, the charity wanted to provide different alternatives to cash donations, spokeswoman Karla Clark said in an email.

The new feature will be available Nov. 8 at red kettle sites outside all Jewel-Osco locations in the city. Additional Chicago locations will have kettle pay beginning on Black Friday.

Kettle pay “will make it easier for people to donate and continue that annual tradition,” Rachev said.

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