No More Clink of the Coin in the Kettle . . . Salvation Army Ringers Go Digital

The New York Times reports that the Salvation Army is going digital. In more and more locations this year, those omnipresent bell ringers with the red kettles will be equipped so you can swipe your card in order to make a Christmas donation. According to a Salvation Army representative:

“A lot of people just don’t carry cash any more,” said Maj. George Hood, the Salvation Army’s spokesman. “We’re basically trying to make sure we’re keeping up with our donors and embrace the new technologies they’re embracing.”

By using Square, a mobile payment device and service, bell ringers with specially-equipped Androids will be ready to offer you the chance to swipe your card as you do your Christmas shopping.

Will this work? My guess is that fewer people will swipe rather than toss a quarter into the kettle. But those who do swipe might choose to give more. What do you think?

I’m okay with the Salvation Army using digital technology for contributions. But if the bell ringers replace their bells with bell-ringing apps on their smart phones, then I’ll be really cranky.

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