Contactless’ machine boosts donations in street collection by nearly 30 per cent

Street collectors for the Pembury branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) managed to boost their donations by nearly 30 per cent thanks to a contactless card machine.

The collection at Tesco in Pembury on August 13 netted £711.50 in cash donations, but passers-by also donated £211 through the contactless card machine, the branch’s honorary chairman Peter Chartres told the Times.

Fourteen volunteers took part in the collection for lifeboat funds on the hot Saturday, and raised a total of £930.50 over a 10-hour period.

“This was a massive 76 per cent increase on the same event in August last year – despite the current economic climate, in which personal and family budgets are clearly under pressure,” said Mr Chartres.


“This demonstrates the continuing strong support from our local community for the RNLI particularly during the current holiday season, when the important work of the RNLI Lifeguards on and around our beaches is being recognised,” he stressed.


“We are extremely grateful for the generosity and supportive good wishes expressed by the general public during our collection,” he added, also thanking the volunteer collectors and Tesco staff.

This was the second time the branch had used a contactless machine – borrowed from RNLI headquarters, and the change is proving a success, said Mr Chartres.

“Approaching a quarter (22.7 per cent) of the money raised was via the ‘contactless’ card machine,” he confirmed.

On the first trial, in the week leading up to Christmas 2021, contactless donations represented 18 per cent of the total.

The RNLI receives no government help and relies entirely on donations and legacies to keep it running.

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