Do you brush off Salvation Army bell-ringers, saying that you don’t have any cash? In certain cities, you’ll need to find a different excuse. This holiday season, the ubiquitous charity introduces kettles that accept credit cards.
“It used to be people would spend their money at the store counters, walk out and drop their change in the kettles. They don’t shop that way anymore,” said Major Don Gilger, coordinator of the Salvation Army of El Paso County. “We all realize that people are carrying less cash than they did 10 years ago.”
The kettles that take credit don’t look any different. But next to the metal red kettles are wireless card readers that resemble do-it-yourself readers at gas stations. The machines print two receipts, one for the donor and one to drop in the kettle. Salvation Army pays credit-processing fees same as any retailer.
The program worked well in test cities Dallas and Colorado Springs last year, and will roll out in 120 more.