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No cash? No problem. Salvation Army accepting Apple Pay, Google Pay at Red Kettle sites

Published: Nov. 29, 2019 at 6:18 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign kicked off this week, offering a new way for people to donate if they don’t have any spare change or cash.

After testing the technology in select cities last year, the Salvation Army is allowing shoppers nationwide to use their cell phones to donate. At each of the 40 kettles scattered across the Midlands, a sticker featuring a QR code and an Apple Wallet microchip are featured on the Salvation Army sign hanging above the kettle.

If Apple Wallet is installed on your phone, you simply hold your phone up to the microchip, which will open a donation page on your phone. From there, you can select how much money you would like to donate. Smartphones without Apple Wallet can take a photograph of the QR code and a similar donation page will open.

Courtney Rone has been a Salvation Army volunteer during the Red Kettle Campaign for six years and said it’s a question she gets from shoppers all the time.

“They don’t carry cash like they used to. They say all I have is my card and that would help they would donate by using their smartphone,” she said. “They’ll ask if I have a debit card reader and I don’t, but this is going to make it much easier for people to donate now.”

According to the Pew Research Center, there has been a steady decline in the number of people who use cash for purchases. Instead, a study found 46% of people are not worried about leaving home without cash and sticking to credit and debit cards.

On Friday, WIS spoke with shoppers at several Red Kettle donation sites about whether the new option is one they would consider using.

“Absolutely. I’ve got credit cards so I absolutely would,” said Jackie Booker. “Because it’s a matter of giving no matter what form it may take -- cash or credit card. Just give.”

“As far as not having cash on you, if you don’t have the cash, use what you have and God will bless you back,” said Felicia Norris.

The holiday calendar for this year’s campaign is six days shorter than usual, so Salvation Army officials are hoping the mobile donation options will make up for the lost time.

The goal for this year’s campaign in the Midlands is $375,000.

The Red Kettle Campaign runs through Christmas Eve.

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