The NSPCC has become the first charity to accept donations using Amazon Alexa after the launch of a donation template skill for the platform.
The charity partnered with the digital products studio Addition to create goDonate Voice, an off-the-shelf product designed to make it easier – and cheaper – for charities to start taking donations via Alexa using Amazon Pay.
An Alexa user enables the NSPCC skill either by using their voice or through the Alexa app. They then say "Alexa, open NSPCC" to donate. The money will be automatically deducted from their registered payment method on their Amazon account and sent to the charity via Amazon Pay. There is no donation limit.
Vicky Reeves, managing director at WPN Chameleon, which owns Addition, said the launch opened new possibilities for fundraising.
"GoDonate Voice is a new solution that gets charities up and running with voice donations and will evolve as the channel evolves, so our clients benefit from the very latest thinking and features," she said.
"What’s exciting is how frictionless this makes giving. Imagine a DRTV advert on television and the donor can just donate through voice, or someone listening to a radio advert in the car and they can donate through Alexa while driving. It’s definitely the future."
Reeves said that if charities wanted to take donations through Alexa before now, they had had to undertake the development themselves, which could be expensive and required specialist skills and knowledge of how Alexa and Amazon Pay works.
"We created goDonate Voice to provide a way to enable charities to take donations without having to build it from scratch themselves," she said.
"In terms of costs, we are still working out the cost model, but broadly speaking there will be an up-front fee to set up for implementation and a low ongoing fee for support and maintenance. Amazon Pay takes a charity rate fee of 1.4 per cent, plus 20p per transaction. This includes all bank-processing fees."