Cancer Research UK has joined forces with smart city business Strawberry Energy and agency MKTG to launch a network of smart benches with contactless technology.
Ten benches were unveiled earlier this week in the London boroughs of Islington and Lewisham, to tie in with World Cancer Day, which takes place on 4 February.
The solar-powered benches enhance public spaces by providing mobile device charging ports and free wi-fi access, as well as a place to sit and socialise.
Strawberry Energy has been working exclusively with Urban Partnerships, a division of MKTG, which delivers projects within the public space that are mutually beneficial for both brands and non-profit organisations.
In the world’s first use of contactless payment on the Smart Bench, the public can also donate £2 to the Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research to beat cancer sooner, by tapping their contactless debit or credit card on the Smart Bench.
Cancer Research UK is the first brand to partner on the Smart Bench scheme in Islington and Lewisham. The sites were identified as high-footfall locations by MKTG and feature a number of contactless payment locations including Islington Green and Lewisham High Street. Following the pilot a further 10 will be installed by the end of February, with an additional 80 to be installed this year.
Michael Docherty, director of digital at Cancer Research UK, said: “Having used contactless technology in innovative ways in the past to engage the public in the work we do, we are always looking for new opportunities to incorporate contactless technology further throughout the charity and make it even easier for our supporters to help us beat cancer sooner.
“These Smart Benches seemed like the next step in our use of contactless technology to bring charitable giving closer to our supporters, integrating it seamlessly into cutting-edge street furniture.”
In July, Cancer Research UK unveiled a virtual reality garden at last year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
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