Banks help Salvos go cashless

The Salvation Army has rolled out a tap-and-go facility for donations ahead of its annual Red Shield Appeal later this month. 

The Salvation Army volunteers with their donation coin box near train stations and shopping centres have emerged as an iconic Australian image. These volunteers will still remain, however, they will instead be manning the tap-and-go facilities. 

“We started to notice a substantial fall in cash donations in our main collection and high-traffic areas including the shopping centres. Even our door knock appeals were impacted by the move away from cash,” said Salvation Army community fundraising director Andrew Hill (pictured in the centre with Jan Mason, chief executive of Quest Payment Systems, on the right). 

Speaking at the Red Shield Appeal launch in Sydney on Thursday, Hill told AB+F of the Australian Haka where people would pat their hands at the side of their bodies, saying: “sorry mate no cash on me”. 

The trend prompted a conversation within the not-for-profit organisation. Through an introduction with Westpac, Quest Payments offered to provide the ATM technology and software culminating in the Quest Donation Point Tap Machine. However, the initiative will be branded under the Salvation Army.

Donation data

Community Sector Banking, which is 50 per cent owned by Bendigo Adelaide Bank, has backed the initiative providing banking and funding to the machines. 

“We are very pleased to be involved in helping deliver this initiative to the Salvation Army. It’s also consistent with our philosophy of providing products and services to the community,” said Community Sector Banking head of finance, legal and risk, Wayne Trotman (pictured left).

The tap-and-go machines have pre-set amounts of $20, $60 and $99. Receipts will be provided by the volunteers who will process them either using the traditional paper method or via SMS and email using a donation web app. The majority of machines that will be rolled out nationally will be the $20 set amounts. 

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci, who was also at the launch, announced that the machines will be present at Woolworth's supermarkets across the country. 

Hill added that the machines will be able to collect data, which will provide the Salvation Army with a better idea about donation levels and patterns across Australia. 

A “dashboard” will also allow the machines to reset any value amounts with data automatically uploaded to the cloud. He expects the machines to be fully operational before the last weekend in May, which coincides with its annual Red Shield Appeal. 

The Red Shield Appeal launch has already raised $1.3 million with pledges still to be collected. Donate to the appeal by clicking here

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