A “Tap and Go” poster in one Brit city will allow shoppers to donate directly to the homeless using contactless payments.
Rough sleepers in Bath are being given a helping hand thanks to the “smart window poster” donation point where Brits can pledge £3, with users being able to tap several times per visit.
The technology, which is being trialled at a Nationwide’s Union Street branch, is a first on the high street and could revolutionise charitable donations.
The money is being used towards local charity Julian House Good Start fund, which helps eradicate homelessness in Bath and North East Somerset.
Tapping could fund welcome packs, which include toiletries and sanitary products in crisis accommodation but also new bedding and essentials when moving into supported housing.
Roanne Wootten, from Julian House, said: “Fundamentally it is about the person and what they need to help them to come off the streets – it will be different for everyone.
The trial, which raised £400 in the first week, comes as the building society continues to invest millions in branches across the UK.
It is hoped the initiative will make it easier for Brits to donate money, and encourage those who feel uncomfortable giving cash directly to homeless people.
Nationwide branch manager Stephanie Pritchard said: “At a time when many people don’t have spare change or may not wish to hand it directly to someone who is homeless, having a contactless point in the window of the branch has bridged the gap.
“As a branch we are very much here for the community.
“This novel way of raising money for a fantastic cause is a great example of how technology is playing a role in helping society, one tap at a time.”
As a payment method, contactless usage continues to rapidly rise.
During 2018 the number of contactless payments made in the UK increased by 31 per cent, to 7.4 billion payments, according to a UK Finance report.
Other charities and not-for-profit organisations, including The Big Issue, have also recently turned to contactless payments as a way of securing revenue.
According to the latest research by Shelter, there are an estimated 320,000 homeless people in the UK.
In December, HSBC partnered with Shelter to help homeless people across the country get a bank account.
Along with HSBC, the digital bank, Monzo allows people with no fixed address to open an account.
Monzo accepts addresses from friends, family, or shelters under its “No Barriers to Banking” program.