In 2014 Apple introduced Apple Pay, a mobile wallet where consumers could store credit and debit card information. Consumers could then use their mobile wallet at retail stores or to pay for items within apps without the hassle of swiping a card or entering any payment information. This payment system works well because it allows customers to use their contact and billing information that they already have on file, saving them time over manually “checking out”.
Since the initial launch of this mobile wallet, Apple reported an increase of nearly 500% in Apple Pay usage in the final quarter of 2016, and more transactions were made in September 2016 than the entire fiscal year of 2015.
Apple has long worked with charities in the past letting customers buy special apps to make donations through iTunes, but the Apple Pay service was not allowed to be used as a method of accepting donations.
Apple has had to enable certain safeguards to validate the legitimacy of charities receiving such donations but in November of 2016 they opened the Apple Pay feature to nonprofits. This new integration allows charities to place a donate button within their apps which can be linked to users’ Apple Pay accounts allowing for an effortless way to donate instantly. The new feature was launched in time for the holidays to coincide with the surge in the spirit of giving.
A few of the organizations who have been using Apple Pay as a donation option include: The American Red Cross, charity:water, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, COPD Foundation, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), Feeding America, GlobalGiving, International Rescue Committee, Red, St. Jude Children’s Research hospital, The Nature Conservancy, Save the Children, The Water Project, UNICEF, United Way, WNET, World Vision, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A complete list of participating organizations can be found on the Apple Pay website.
This move to support nonprofit organizations puts Apple in competition with rival digital payment services such as PayPal, which already has half a million charities using its platform to take donations. Apple Pay was limited to being used only in the U.S. at first but as of March of 2017 it has been able to expand to 22 charities based in the United Kingdom.
(Complied by “Apple Pay Can Now be Used for Charitable Donations” Leena Rao, Fourtune, “Apple Now Let Nonprofits Take Donations” TechCrunch, Sarah Perez)