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Visa brings digital donation options to charity street vendors

Visa has developed digital payment solutions for charity street vendors, like The Big Issue, to continue accepting payments from a cashless Australia

Visa is supporting charitable organisations with digital payment solutions for street vendors to collect on-the-go payments and combat the cashless Australian society.

The new ‘AirPay’ method was developed in response to a slip in donations as not-for-profit organisations reported that customers are less likely to donate now that they no longer carry the physical money needed to contribute to a charity.

It will allow charities like The Big issue to accept electronic payments via a point of sale device that is small enough to be carried on a lanyard. The organisations new 250 street vendors will now be able to keep up with cashless customers.

The Big Issue CEO, Steven Persson, said: “As a social enterprise, digital payments need to support and empower our street vendors and at the same time ensure security and protection of customers’ data. Finding the right digital payment solutions for The Big Issue vendors and our customers has been crucial.”

The Big Issue is a not-for-profit social enterprise that sees marginalised, homeless and disadvantaged people buy magazines for $3.50 from the organisation and sell them for $7, allowing for an instant source of income.

The organisation said that more than 11 million magazines have been sold since 1996, putting $27 million into the pockets of disadvantaged Australians. However, due to an increasingly cashless society, these sales have begun to fall.

Through AirPay, and in partnership with solution provider Quest Donation Point (Quest), customers can now donate or make purchases – like the magazine – with a contactless payment device or by using QR codes and the Beem It app.

Visa Group Country Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Julian Potter, said: “Australians have a preference for tapping to pay, with more than 94 per cent of Visa’s face-to-face transactions now being contactless.

“By connecting The Big Issue vendors to the Visa network, we’re enabling them to accept electronic payments, where previously they have been reliant on cash.”

The number of contactless donations made in Australia using Quest terminals has tripled in the last 12 months, and has shown demonstrable progress towards driving contactless donations.

CEO of Quest, Jan Mason, said the corporation is “passionate believers” of using the contactless payment technology for the greater good.

“In the past 12 months, our Donation Point Tap terminals have processed more than a million dollars for not-for-profit organisations, and the solution we have developed for The Big Issue is an example of our continued support of the sector.”

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