New text giving service launched

The sector has given a mixed response to a new cheap-rate text donation service.

Norwegian telecoms company Contopronto's Luup service charges a transaction fee of 2.5 per cent plus 18p per donation. Donors must sign up to a Luup virtual payment account, which operates like PayPal.

Many charities don't use text donations because mobile phone operators charge fees of up to 40 per cent. The Institute of Fundraising praised Luup's cost-effectiveness.

Katie Hart, new business development manager at Amnesty International, which has signed up to Luup, said there was no evidence that donors would be put off by having to sign up. "We see it as a slow-burner source of income as people get used to using their mobiles as financial tools," she said.

But Robert Thurner, commercial director of mobile marketing agency Incentivated, warned that take-up of the service might be slow. "Donors have to set up an account, and that takes time," he said.

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