Soon you’ll be able to donate to charity from thousands of cash machines across the UK. The government wants to make charitable giving a ‘social norm’, but will it tempt you to part with your hard-earned cash?
This week, the government announced that over 12,000 cash machines across the UK will soon allow people to make charitable donations at the touch of a few buttons.
ATMs run by Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as those owned by independent cashpoint operator Bank Machine, will join HSBC in letting you give to worthy causes.
Later on in the year, the new cashpoint donation system will be rolled out across the 64,000 ATMs that fall under the Link network. So no matter where you go, you’ll always have the opportunity to give a little.
Under the scheme, you’ll be able to donate anything between a quid and £250 to one of eight charities selected by the banks. Interestingly, the scheme is based on one introduced by Servibanca in Colombia in 1998.
One crucial flaw
However, this isn’t really a revelation in the UK. HSBC already allows its customers to donate to charity through its ATMs – over 3,600 of them across the British Isles. In fact, just over £340,000 was donated in 2010.
The key advantage of HSBC’s scheme is that charities can claim Gift Aid on any donations, meaning that for every donation made, the charity can claim back the basic rate of income tax (20%) that you’ve already paid on that money. For example, on a £10 donation Gift Aid would earn the charity an extra £2.50.
However, the government’s new cashpoint scheme will not be set up to allow Gift Aid payments. If you consider that the charities involved in HSBC’s scheme received over £340,000 in 2010, a significant portion of that total would have come from Gift Aid payments.
Give while you get?
I like the concept of giving while you get, but is this really going to work? What if you don’t want to donate to any of the charities that are offered by the cashpoint? And why will only eight benefit in this way – there are thousands of causes out there in desperate need of funds.
And frankly, I’ve never used any of the other features on a cashpoint, like topping up my mobile or printing off statements. So will I be drawn to the charity button when all I want to do is make a quick withdrawal? Somehow I don’t think so.
Do you think you’ll be tempted to donate to charity while drawing out your cash? Or if you’re an HSBC customer, did you know this option was already available?
Would you use a cash machine to donate to charity?
No - cashpoints are for taking cash out (85%, 172 Votes)
Yes - I think it's a good idea (8%, 17 Votes)
I'm not sure (6%, 13 Votes)
Total Voters: 202