At the end of 2018 we made a team decision to invest more into charitable products and services. Our decision was to lower the barriers to receiving donations via payment cards.
We’d previously designed and built the software for the first handheld device for taking contactless card donations. But this was an expensive device to fund and operate, costing over £500 just to manufacture. And we noted the few similar offerings currently in the marketplace are equally expensive, with high upfront costs, service fees and transaction fees. .
Smaller charities and many others that are cost conscious can’t consider this level of outlay. And our research confirmed that the financial barriers to entry are keeping many potential charities from being beneficiaries of the current shift towards a cashless society.
We proposed to lower these costs by developing point of donation software that could be freely and easily downloaded and would run on a cheap Android device (tablet or phone) and work with one of the low cost payment card terminals now available. Subsequently a series of design and build iterations using the SumUp card reader (£19 to purchase) were successful and we called this software ‘Give A Little’ (www.givealittle.co).
The effect of releasing this software in February 2019 was to allow many charities to get started with a cheap SumUp card reader and Android device, while still providing a high quality user experience for potential donors. We quickly added features such as Gift Aid declaration and the ability to play videos on the campaign screen that have greatly boosted the funds being raised. We’ve now successfully lowered the cost of entry to taking card payments including contactless payments, and phone-authorised transactions to well under £100.
Now we’re also seeing our software being used by clever designers such as FormeStudio who are making all-in-one devices that contain the SumUp card reader and a screen, either portable for street collections or for stand-alone use on a counter. Another such device is the CollecTin More.
Our activity to date has confirmed the need for this low cost solution and we are confident that the long tail of charities will now benefit from being able to handle electronic forms of payment making them less reliant on cash in an increasingly cashless society.
I’d like to finish with a quote from one of our many happy users, Rev. Dan Henderson, St Andrew’s Hove: "From all of my research I think [Give A Little] is the best solution and I'm pretty sure that a lot of churches will soon be going down this route… We love the app and thank you for your work on it!"