Cancer Research UK launches 'smart benches' to accept contactless donations

The scheme is a partnership between the charity and the businesses Strawberry Energy and MKTG

Cancer Research UK has launched 10 "smart benches" that will accept £2 donations by means of contactless payment.

The scheme, which is a partnership between the charity and the businesses Strawberry Energy and MKTG, a marketing consultancy, has been rolled out to coincide with World Cancer Day on 4 Febuary. The solar-powered benches provide mobile device-charging ports and free wi-fi access, and give people the opportunity to donate by tapping their contactless debit or credit cards.

The network of CRUK-branded benches have been positioned across Islington and Lewisham with support from the London boroughs. The sites were identified by MKTG as areas of high footfall.

It is planned to have 100 benches in operation by the end of 2017; as well as the 10 put into operation this week, a further 10 will be installed by the end of February and another 80 throughout the year. MKTG is looking for more potential partners to sponsor the benches. 

Michael Docherty, director of digital at Cancer Research UK, said the charity was always looking for new opportunities to incorporate contactless technology and make it easier for supporters to donate.

"These Smart Benches seemed like the next step in our use of contactless technology to bring charitable giving closer to our supporters, integrating it seamlessly into cutting-edge street furniture," he said.

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