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Tom Flack
October 18, 2017

Contactless Switch Is Costing Charities

contactless cards charity.png

  • Two out of five have cut donations to street collectors because they carry less cash
  • Donors estimate they are giving an average £14 a year less

The switch to contactless cards is costing charities with nearly two out of five adults admitting they give less to street collectors as they do not carry as much cash, new research from Consumer Intelligence shows.


Its nationwide study found 37% who regularly donate money to charity collectors say they have cut back in the past year — and on average they estimate they have donated £14 less.


Consumer Intelligence’s research shows a rapid switch away from using cash — 58% of adults say they are using less cash than a year ago.


The trend is accelerating among younger people — 71% of 18 to 24-year olds say they use less cash than a year ago — but even over-65s are changing with 49% cutting back on cash.


Just a third of those questioned prefer to use cash for purchases worth less than £30 — the limit for contactless cards — with 39% preferring to use contactless, 27% using chip and PIN and 3% using other devices.


However, cash is still very important for charities. The Charities Aid Foundation** says cash is still the most popular method of donating to charity with 55% of donations coming in notes and coins.


Ian Hughes, Chief Executive of Consumer Intelligence said:


“Contactless is convenient and secure so it is understandable that so many are happy to ditch cash.


“But there must be some concern that it is hurting charities with so many people admitting they have cut donations simply because they do not carry cash.


“Technology can help, however and charity collectors need to adapt. The Church of England is trialling contactless technology for collections so it can be done.”


Consumer Intelligence’s study shows around one in 10 people still carry £50 or more in cash on a day to day basis.


Notes to Editors

*Consumer Intelligence research conducted on August 7th among 1,050 adults aged 18-plus

Consumer Intelligence research conducted between July 28th and 31st among 1,076 drivers aged 18-plus


For further information, please contact:

Consumer Intelligence
Tom Flack

Kevan Reilly / Jonathan Flint
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7638 9571

About Consumer Intelligence

Consumer Intelligence conducts consumer surveys and benchmarks price and service performance providing unique insights into competitor pricing and customer experiences, their attitudes, opinions and behaviours. For more information, visit the web site




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