In time for the 2011 holiday season and the hundred and twentieth anniversary of its Red Kettle Campaign, the Salvation Army has announced that it will accept credit card payments at its Red Kettles in select cities.
Bell ringers at locations in Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York will receive donated Android smartphones equipped with wireless service and credit card readers. The card readers plug into the phone's headphone jack and allow for "safe and secure" payments through a free mobile application.
According to the New York Times, the national charity added traditional credit card processing terminals to its holiday fundraising campaign three years ago, with mixed results. By using technology that is already familiar to consumers, it expects donors this holiday season to be more comfortable with the process.
The push for digital donations will help the organization reach consumers who keep little cash or change in their wallets while shopping. "A lot of people just don't carry cash any more," Major George Hood, the organization's national community relations and development secretary, told the Times. "We're basically trying to make sure we're keeping up with our donors and embrace the new technologies they're embracing."