The shift toward electronic payments has had the unintended consequence of hindering shoppers’ ability to donate to charitable causes at the point of sale, but not anymore.
To remedy the situation, the Association for Retail Technology Standards, a division of the National Retail Federation, announced the release of its Change4Charity Standard. If adopted by point-of-sale vendors and donation processors the new standard will lower costs for retailers and support greater participation in charity programs by smaller retailers and non-profits, ultimately raising more funds for those in need, according to NRF vp of retail technologies Tom Litchford.
“As more consumers move to electronic payments, the idea of dropping change into a donation jar at the register is fading,” Litchford said. “At the moment, the cost of integrating selling systems to separate charities is a barrier for smaller retail companies, and many smaller charities don’t have the resources to take advantage of electronic integrations. We are eager to push this out to retailers who want to make a difference in the communities they serve.”
The initiative for the Change4Charity standard grew out of a discussion at the Retail Orphan Initiative Super Saturday event during NRF’s 2013 BIG Show in New York City. Since then, industry leaders, retail executives and their business partners have worked together to discuss how to streamline and expedite charitable giving at the point-of-sale by allowing the donation to happen through a transaction terminal.
The goals for this standard are to support as many different types of selling systems as possible without increasing transaction times and to lower the integration costs for retailers, making it easier to adopt “Change4Charity” programs. Over $358 million was raised for nonprofits in 2012 from checkout charity campaigns.