Innovation That Matters

Contactless donation in cafes help feed children around the world

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Lunchbox is a contactless donation box that could increase monetary donations by upgrading the old-fashioned change bucket.

Contactless payment in the UK has increased over 300 percent in the last year, and much of that is due to the sheer ease of the transaction. Now, Mary Meals UK — a charity that raises money to feed some of the world’s hungriest children — has partnered with Earnest Labs to create the Lunchbox, a contactless donation box that they hope will facilitate an increase in monetary donations by upgrading the old-fashioned change bucket.

The Lunchbox is an NFC enabled box that will be installed in cafes across the country. To make a donation, customers simply tap their card or smartphone on the device and they will automatically be charged 30 pence — enough to buy lunch for a schoolchild in places including Malawi, Liberia, India, and Haiti for an entire week.

We have seen a number of other charities using technology to simplify and maximize the donation process. Common Pence enables Londoners to donate leftover change on their Oyster travel pass to charity, and SnapDonate lets people donate simply by taking a smartphone snap of a charity’s logo.

Lunchbox is starting with a three month trial at five cafes and restaurants. How else could contactless technology be leveraged to increase charitable donations?



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