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Home |About Us | Blog | Optomany and Pennies: The Future of Digital Giving

In the race for profits and customers, it can sometimes be easy to forget the bigger picture. Yet today, businesses across the UK are increasingly looking to become more socially responsible and meet a growing demand from their customers to find ways to give back to local charities and communities. That’s why Optomany has teamed up with Pennies, an innovative digital donation charity, to integrate its capabilities seamlessly into our payment solutions.

This is the future of charitable giving: fast, flexible, and offering firms the chance to generate tens of thousands annually for their chosen third sector recipients.

A cashless society

Pennies’ research from last year revealed that around half of the British public have noticed a decline in physical collection boxes. The UK is rapidly becoming a cashless society: over a quarter of us now leave the house with no cash at all, while according to official figures 1.2 billion debit card purchases were made in May alone, worth £46 billion. It all adds up to one thing: a growing need for innovative new ways for consumers to support their favourite charities via digital channels.

That’s exactly where Pennies comes in: a user-friendly way for businesses to raise significant sums for their favourite charities. Its technology effectively behaves like a digital charity box, offered at the point of sale. Consumers are asked to round-up or top-up on card purchases online, at the till and/or via their smart devices. It’s never more than a few pence but, just like the old-fashioned charity box, those pennies quickly add up to sums which could make a real difference to people’s lives.

A win-win

The benefits are obvious. By integrating the functionality seamlessly into its payment solutions, Optomany ensures there’s no slowdown at the point of sale when customers are asked whether or not they want to contribute. What’s more, it’s only ever a “yes” or “no” question, so there’s no need for extra staff training. Businesses can choose which charities they want to benefit and 90% of the funds collected will be sent to these organisations. The remaining 10% goes to Pennies – also a charity – to help in its drive to revolutionise digital giving.

Pennies is already having a big impact in the UK retail and hospitality sector, with over 200,000 customers choosing to donate every week. In fact, the charity estimates that if every UK card holder donated a penny a day, approximately £175m a year could be generated for UK charities. Those participating will not only get the satisfaction of giving something back to the local community and enhancing their CSR credentials but could even benefit from a halo effect as more and more consumers actively seek out businesses which offer Pennies. Brand awareness of the platform is already at 16% and growing fast, especially in major cities like London (23%).

Omnichannel points the way to a retail future where online and offline channels merge into a seamless shopping experience and businesses can drive profits off the back of fantastic new customer insights. But increasingly retailers also want to meet their social responsibilities, and the demands of their customers, by enabling innovative new ways of digital giving. With Optomany and Pennies, now you can have both.

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