CHICAGO — Mobile pay technology is coming to the Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign.
In an effort to expand its reach to people who don’t carry cash, donors this year will be able to use Apple Pay or Google Pay. Users can tap their smartphones on a sticker and make a donation.
People with older phones can scan a QR code for the same process. Red kettle bell ringers will continue to accept cash, as well.
Steve Rusk, spokesman for the Salvation Army in Vancouver, said there will be information about the mobile pay technology at every red kettle site this season. He said red kettle donations comprise about 12 percent of the nonprofit’s annual budget.
With more than 60 locations in Clark County where bell ringers solicit donations, the Salvation Army aims to start its red kettle campaign on Nov. 18.
About 70 percent of all the money the Salvation Army collects for the year comes during the holiday season, said Jackie Rachev, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division, which includes 13 counties surrounding Chicago.
Adoption of the technology comes as Americans pivot away from using cash. In a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, about 29 percent of respondents said they made a purchase without cash in a typical week, up from 24 percent in 2015.
The Salvation Army tested the cashless option last year in Kansas City, New York, Dallas and Seattle. While it did not raise large amounts of money during its first year of testing, the charity wanted to provide alternatives to cash donations, spokeswoman Karla Clark said in an email.
Columbian staff writer Patty Hastings contributed to this report.