British Heart Foundation to allow donations through Alexa

The charity says it is the first in the UK to enable people to give money in this way

Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo

The British Heart Foundation says it has become the first UK charity to allow donations through Amazon Alexa.

Alexa is a voice-activated virtual assistant that can be used through Amazon products such as the Echo. The BHF will allow donations of both money and goods through the service.

Donors will be able to download a "skill" to the Alexa app to allow users to donate to BHF through Amazon Pay, or to organise the collection of furniture or electrical goods.

Users will be able to do this by saying: "Alexa, ask British Heart Foundation to collect my furniture", or "Alexa, open British Heart Foundation and donate money".

Any donations will be answered by a voice recording thanking the donor, voiced by Rebecca Shorrocks, one of the charity’s beneficiaries.

Alexa users in the US have been able to donate to charity in this way since April, but the BHF is the first charity in the UK to follow suit, the charity said.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the BHF, said: "More people than ever own a digital assistant like the Amazon Echo and it’s really exciting for our supporters to be able to use their devices to support life-saving heart research.

"We’re constantly adapting as an organisation to be where our supporters are and to give people choice to make donating as easy as possible. We’re excited to add the Amazon Alexa to a long list of ways that people can help fund our life-saving research."

Doug Gurr, UK country manager for Amazon and chair of the BHF, said: "We hope connecting millions of Alexa customers to the BHF will make a real and positive difference to the seven million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK today."

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