Proximity Mobile Payments Ramping Up the Shopping, Charitable Experience

September 12, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

We all know how rough the move to mobile payments has been on charities in recent years. Without that jingle of spare change, a lot of charities are having a tough time collecting donations. Whether it’s an organization out canvassing–remember those familiar bells and kettles at Christmas time?–or a down-on-his-luck streetcorner beggar, charity is a little tougher in an increasingly cashless world. The use of proximity mobile payments systems can help, and a new partnership between The Sourcing Team and Thyngs may just make proximity payments easier to put to use.

The combined effort allows charities who put it to work to effectively add mobile content and payments opportunities to just about anything by using either a Quick Response (QR) code or a near-field communications (NFC) tag located on a particular point. The end result is what’s called a “mobile donation point”, complete with on-message branding opportunities to get the point of the organization across. It works for virtually anything; a poster on a wall, a volunteer’s name badge, even an artistically-arranged diorama could be a donation point.

Best of all, not only does the system yield donations, it also gathers data, which in turn can be used for analytics processes and actionable insights. Thyngs’ CEO Neil Garner expects this to serve as an excellent way to get the Thyngs product line front and center with a market that’s in deep need of such procedures.

We’ve seen how charities have had to modify their operations to accommodate mobile payments. Churches add mobile donation capabilities, street beggars in China get Alipay addresses, and so on. The combined effort of Thyngs and The Sourcing Team may be exactly what the charity field needs to take advantage of the mobile payments phenomenon. If this pair can establish themselves as the ultimate one-stop shop for charitable operations to engage in mobile payments, then it could have a real advantage going forward. Even the current operations in the field like Square tend to require a smartphone or the like as the final connection point; Thyngs / The Sourcing Team’s reduction to a badge or the like could improve the concept.

Only time will tell how well this works out, but it’s easy to see that mobile payments may well have one serious new competitor in play here.