It’s that time of year again. Where the majority of the stores you walk into have a Salvation Army bell ringer at the door. You know those awkward moments when you pass by because you don’t have any change to give them. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel awful. However this year, we don’t have to worry about that. Starting this year, the Salvation Army is introducing a brand new way to donate to charity this holiday season.
The Salvation Army is working with Square, a point-of-purchase gadget that snaps onto smart phones, to allow the Red Kettle ringers to collect credit card payments. In 2010, the Red Kettle ringers took in more than $142 million dollars to help people in need with toys, food, and other basic needs. The Salvation Army does a tremendous amount of good.
The new device the ringers will be using is supposed to be safe and secure to use. Jack Dorsey, former employee of Twitter, is Square’s CEO and founder so you know it at least has a good pedigree. So far more than 800,000 readers have been shipped across the U.S.
You don’t have to worry about the ringers using personal cell phones to take the credit card information. Sprint Wireless has provided cell phones to all the bell ringers. As of right now, you can only pay with credit card in select cities, including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Dallas, but the Salvation Army is expanding its digital payment option to their website.
If you decide to participate in this mobile transaction, use your credit card not your debit card. IF something happens to the data and your account is hacked or stolen, it’s easier to get your money back from a credit card company.