Passengers on London Underground can register to give one penny to charity with each journey

Charitable giving goes contactless with Transport for London

Charitable giving has entered the contactless age with a new donation scheme launched on London’s mass transportation services.

The new ‘Penny for London’ scheme introduced today by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson allows passengers to opt to donate as little as one penny for every journey they make on London Underground, buses, trams, DLR, Overground or National Rail services.

All services accepting the Oyster card will support the scheme, powered by Barclaycard-developed micro-donation technology. The company has previously helped to enable contactless payments on all services managed by Transport for London.

“In a world-first, Barclaycard designed the new contactless payment system to make the process of giving to charity as quick and easy as possible,” said Paulette Rowe, managing director of Barclaycard’s Global Payment Acceptance division and Chair of the Mayor’s Fund for London, which devised the scheme.

“With around half of all the UK’s contactless spend made here, London is the contactless capital. In the future, as increasing numbers move from cash to card, we hope the ‘contactless collection tin’ is adopted by all Londoners to help ensure charities continue to thrive.”

Users can decide how much they want to give, from 1p to 10p. Donations are aggregated into one debit payment from their card account at the end of each month. 

The money collected by the scheme will go to charities, projects and non-profit organisations helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in life.

Launching the scheme at London Bridge Underground Station, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Penny for London is a big, bold idea that will revolutionise the way we give to charity. The latest contactless technology is going to help transform the lives of thousands of young people across the capital. Enabling people travelling around the city to pool their pennies could potentially add up to hundreds of thousands of pounds. And the best thing about it is just how simple it is. Just sign up and tap in!”

Transport for London (TfL), currently operating Europe’s largest single payment system, launched contactless payments on London Underground in September this year. Since 2012, the technology has been available on London’s buses.

TfL said more than 5 million journeys have been paid by contactless technology in the first month of the system’s operations, with over 100,000 journeys every day having been paid by contactless payment cards on rail and buses alike.

The Mayor’s Fund for London estimates that if 100,000 people signed up to the scheme in 2015, Penny for London would raise over £1m. If one in ten Londoners register the amount donated every year could rise to over £15m.


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