In the Giving Green Paper, published in December, the government asked for opinions on how 'ATM giving' could take off in the UK.
Colombia was cited as an example to follow, where £14,300 is raised each month through people being asked to give to charity when they use cash machines.
But in the UK over the past six years, £630,000 has already been shared among seven large charities through cash maching giving at one bank.
Customers of the nation's 3,000 HSBC machines are asked if they want to donate every time they withdraw money or check their balances. Cancer Research UK, the Alzheimer's Society, ChildLine, the British Heart Foundation, Mencap, WWF and the Disasters Emergency Committee are those that benefit.
Peter Bull, head of HSBC in the Community, says this can be a good alternative to the direct ask. "Some people don't like a hard sell and are more likely to donate when they feel they are not under any pressure and it's totally their choice," he says.
The scheme has been highly effective when cash machine users are from time to time given the chance to donate to DEC appeals. For example, £122,000 was raised for the Haiti earthquake fund, and £131,000 came in for the Pakistan flood appeal.
The other charity that has benefited most is Cancer Research UK, with £145,000. Tracey Kehoe, senior manager in its corporate partnerships department, says another benefit is that this involves virtually no administration costs.
A quarterly review meeting with HSBC is all that is needed. The method offers one more way to give, she says, and allows the donor to give when it is convenient.