Spar is currently trialling an innovative digital ‘Smart Poster’ collection solution in its nationwide estate of more than 400 stores that allows customers to donate to Spar’s official charity partner Make-A-Wish Ireland via their mobile telephones.
Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retailer notes that many people don’t carry cash anymore, which has had a devastating effect on the charity sector with in-person donations at an all-time low.
It said that this is particularly significant for Make-A-Wish Ireland as the charity does not receive any government funding and is dependent on donations from the public and the support of partners like Spar to continue granting wishes.
The new technology, Strikepay, is a portable personal payment technology that is designed to make paying convenient, safe and easy for all.
“Over the last 15 months we have seen a big decline in the number of people carrying cash in our stores and this has impacted the charity sector particularly badly," Colin Donnelly, sales director, Spar said.
"As Spars’s official Charity partner, we are passionate about supporting the Make-A-Wish mission and are delighted to trial this innovative technology in our stores, which is a great example of how technology is playing a role in helping society one tap at a time," he added.
Using this contactless technology, customers in Spar stores across Ireland can now simply tap their smart phones on the special posters and a web page is opened on their device.
The customer can then choose to donate directly to Make-A-Wish using the Apple or Android Pay capability on their phone or input their debit/card details directly.
As part of this innovative initiative, Spar said it will publicly campaign for people to openly embrace technology that facilitates cashless charitable giving, to safeguard the viability of critical charities across the country.
As a result of reduced in person charitable giving due to COVID-19, it is estimated that Irish charities could have lost out on as much as €500 million over the last 15 months.
“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our wish-granting and fundraising activities. This has resulted in planned wishes having to be rescheduled and re-imagined and we currently have more than 200 seriously ill children waiting for their wishes to be granted," said Susan O’Dwyer, chief executive of Make-A-Wish Ireland.
"Now more than ever, these children need what Make-A-Wish can bring in the form of hope, strength, and joy," she said.
The initiative is designed to make it easier for people to donate money to worthy causes such as Make-A-Wish, while instilling confidence in those who still feel uncomfortable about handling cash and donating via the traditional bucket or in-store collection boxes.
"By providing an easy-to-use technological solution, Make-A-Wish can continue to harness the spontaneous and ad hoc donations that Irish people are known for and, as a result, the fantastic work done by the charity can continue for all the many children and families that it supports,” Oli Cavanagh, co-founder Strikepay added.