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Home |About Us | News | Building More Socially Responsible Football Clubs Via Digital Donations

Football clubs, like many modern businesses, are increasingly looking to revamp their retail channels to maximise sales and improve the customer experience. Omnichannel is right at the heart of this new push, offering a seamless shopping experience for consumers across digital and offline channels alongside new opportunities for managers to drive sales thanks to improved insights into spending patterns. However, football clubs are also increasingly looking for new ways to give back to their local communities via Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

That’s why Omnichannel provider Retail & Sports Systems (R&SS) and payments partner Optomany are working with Pennies: the innovative charity which allows retail customers to make small change donations when paying by card in-store, online and via smart devices. The partnership is set to make a major impact on the industry and could help football clubs generate tens of thousands for their chosen charities.

Digital donations

Half of the British public have noticed a decline in physical collection boxes, according to research commissioned by Pennies last year. When combined with the fact that a quarter of us now leave the house with no cash at all, there’s a growing need for newer, hassle-free ways for consumers to support the charity sector.

Pennies is the digital version of a charity box, maintaining the simplicity and anonymity of dropping a few coins into a collection tin. It does this by prompting customers to round-up or top-up on any card purchases made in-store or online. It’s only ever just a few pence, and the retailer/football club chooses the charity to benefit, making sure it fits the club’s CSR programme and stays relevant to its fans.

Putting Pennies in place

R&SS and Optomany started working with Pennies to bring the innovative digital donation platform to football clubs. Seamless integration with Optomany’s industry-leading omnichannel payments technology means clubs can offer their retail customers the option to donate at point of sale on the card terminal, by offering a simple “Yes” or “No” choice during the transaction. The retailer can select a “round-up” or a “top-up” option and there’s no pressure placed on the individual consumer and no personal data capture.

It’s a win-win for the club. There’s no slow down at the till and no need for staff at the club shop to explain the process to the customer. What’s more, 100% of funds go to charity: 90% to the chosen charity of the club and the remainder to Pennies – also a charity – to help fund its efforts to grow the digital donation movement. It’s a great way for football clubs to support and better engage with their local communities, enhance their CSR credentials and even boost the brand.

Awareness of Pennies stands at 16% in the UK and is rapidly growing: every three seconds someone donates via the platform. Current estimates suggest clubs could generate as much as £25,000 each year per 250,000 card transactions. As more and more football clubs look to R&SS and Optomany to make their retail environments fit for the digital age with secure omnichannel payments, Pennies represents the icing on the cake.

To get in touch directly with Pennies, contact Dion Christiansen, Head of Business Development – Retail, on 020 6700 9286 or

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