Salvation Army Embraces Smartphone Technology To Solicit Donations

QR Codes, Apple Pay Readers Have Been Deployed To Join Red Kettles

One Salvation Army official says the traditional Red Kettle Campaign may be going "the way of the dinosaur." Photo: 19melissa68 (CC-BY-NC).

With fewer people carrying cash these days, the Salvation Army is using smartphone technology to solicit donations.

A recent survey by the website Credit Cards suggests people, especially those younger than 29, are using debit and credit cards more often than cash. Salvation Army Divisional Commander for Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Dan Jennings said that’s a problem for their red kettle campaign.

“As we move more and more cashless, the traditional bell ringer or the traditional kettle on the corner will probably go the way of the dinosaur,” he said.

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Jennings said some kettles now have QR codes, which can be scanned on a smartphone and takes the user to a donation page online. And beginning this year, he said the Salvation Army is using Apple Pay at bus kiosks in Milwaukee, where people just tap their phone against a reader to make a donation.