Cancer Research UK will use contactless payment technology in its face-to-face fundraising for the first time as part of its fundraising campaign for World Cancer Day.
Volunteer street fundraisers have been issued with digital collection tins to collect donations for World Cancer Day on 4 February at 16 locations in the UK.
Passers-by will be able to make contactless donations of £2 by tapping their contactless bank cards on specially designed readers held by the fundraisers. Most of the selected locations are at train stations and shopping centres in London, Glasgow, York, Liverpool and Leeds.
CRUK said in a statement that the launch of the technology represented a wider initiative to bring contactless payments to the sector. It said it had been working with other charities and with the technology companies Payter, Creditcall and Elayon to ensure the trial was a success.
It said it planned to share what it learned from the trial so that the sector as a whole would benefit.
CRUK previously used contactless technology on the windows of four of its shops – in Brighton, Guildford in Surrey, and Kensington and Marylebone in London – during two weeks in January 2015 to mark last year’s World Cancer Day.
A spokeswoman said that 70,000 engaged with the technology during the trial – which means they either looked at it or donated – but she declined to say how much the previous trial had raised or how many people had donated because this was commercially sensitive information.
Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at CRUK, said the charity was committed to exploring new, innovative ways to fundraise and accept supporter donations.
"With the increasing use of contactless, this seems a natural next step," he said. "This activity takes contactless giving to a new level, will ensure we stay relevant and will make it as easy as possible for people to donate in a way that suits them."
CRUK said it was the first charity to test contactless technology on this scale, but other charities have experimented with it for their fundraising.
In March 2015, Comic Relief encouraged shoppers to donate £1 each by tapping with their contactless payment cards on statues of comedians and comedy characters such as Dawn French and Rowan Atkinson's Mr Bean.
The charity declined to say how much it raised from this initiative when asked by Third Sector last summer, but said it was not a significant amount.