Digital donations lag way behind traditional methods of payment, survey reveals

Charities are yet to tap into the potential of donations made through digital platforms such as mobile apps or contactless payment, a study has revealed.

With advances in payment technology Harris Interactive moved to find out how the general public prefers to donate – digitally or traditionally.

Using its Harris 24 service, which allows 500 members of the public to be surveyed within one hour, Harris first asked what percentage of respondents had donated to charity within the last 12 months, over 77 per cent said they had, which is in line with research the Charities Aid Foundation carried out in 2014 where 79 per cent of the public had.


Digital or traditional?

Next the survey asked which donation method was preferred in order to find out if digital giving via mobile apps and contactless payment had started to take a foothold. The favourite method amongst respondents was cash, with over 33 per cent selecting this option, followed by buying goods with over 17 per cent and then direct debit with 12 per cent.

Interestingly, in a blog post detailing the survey, Harris Interactive revealed that ‘newer’ donation methods such as contactless payments and mobile apps only accounted for one per cent of all responses. Researchers said this could be because charities haven’t taken advantage of these newer donation methods by making them easily available, or that the public are not comfortable donating in this way.

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