QR Codes Helping the Homeless

We’ve blogged a lot about charities and the challenges they face with the prevalence of a cashless society. But charities aren’t the only ones struggling with people’s lack of cash – Homeless people are also feeling the negative effects from people carrying less coins and notes.

More and more people in the UK are making their payments with cards and their mobile phones. Even having to enter a pin number is cumbersome to some in comparison with just a tap.

But just because people may not be carrying cash, doesn’t automatically mean that they don’t wish to donate. The ideal solution would be to find a way that people without cash could quickly donate by card or online, as quick as it would be to drop a coin in a hat.

And last Summer Oxford tried to do just that. They ran a trial with the aim of combatting this issue by giving homeless people in the city a wearable barcode. This meant that rough sleepers could take donations from the public via smartphones.

Homeless people were given lanyards featuring a QR code so that they could take cashless payments. Donors who scanned the code using their smartphone were taken to a donation page detailing the photo, name and story of the person they were giving money to.

Not only does it help these homeless people gain more donations, but also aids them in saving the money for a longer-term financial goal.

Each homeless person was assigned a case worker to help manage their fund. The money in the account was set aside for agreed targets such as a deposit on a rental property or a passport. So often people donate loose change which might go towards that person being able to eat that day or get a warm drink – A worthy cause in itself. But being able to donate online meant that donors could give £10 instead of a few coins – An amount that could quickly add up to a substantial fund to better their future.

The fact that the QR code takes you to a profile page makes that donation all the more personal. When you’ve donated a few pounds to someone on the street, how often have you stopped to hear their story? By donating online, you can now learn a bit more about the person you are helping.

Of course, homelessness and rough sleeping is a country wide issue and one that should not be seen today. That’s why this new technology is such a breakthrough – It could really help make a substantial difference to people’s lives.

For more news on the latest cashless donation technology, plus fundraising hints and tips, follow along @donater.

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