40% of 2,025 UK consumers revealed they have stopped shopping at retailers they considered not to have an ethical stance, found fintech charity Pennies in a recent survey*.

Over half of respondents (54%) wanted to see sustainably sourced products on offer, 38% wished to see social issues tackled by companies, and a larger 69% wanted clear evidence of contribution to local communities.

Pennies CEO Alison Hutchinson said,

“Our results were higher than we thought, but a rise in the ‘ethical consumer’ chimes with our experience as customers; we demand more from retailers in terms of product choice, convenience and payment options – and Brits also have a philanthropic vein running through them.”

The findings also resonate with Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, which this year launched its own initiative earlier, Better Retail, Better World, to mobilise the retail industry to tackle some of the global challenges highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Helen Dickinson says,

“We are seeing the industry respond to challenges and changes in retail and address the changing expectations of their customers. Retailers are making encouraging progress on issues like pay growth, productivity, sustainability and demonstrable commitment to communities and charity.”

The ethical consumer

Pennies is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, which enables customers to anonymously donate a few pence to charity at the point of sale when paying by card or mobile wallet; in-store, online and in-app. No customer data is collected or stored.

Hutchinson continues,

“The UK public hold dear the ability to give to causes and communities around them, and for retailers one option available to them is offering customers the chance to ‘join in’ by digitally giving a few pennies when they pay.


“Our own model of microdonation gives customers data-free giving. This contributes to an improved opinion of a retailer’s brand by making customers feel-good about their shopping experience – and keeping their personal data safe.


“We have seen donation levels up by 50% compared to this time last year, and this momentum has enabled over 60M microdonations – and counting – in total; as fewer of us use or carry cash but still want to give a little back.”

Pennies’ roster of high street brands includes Domino’s Pizza, Topps Tiles, The Entertainer, Screwfix, Hobbycraft, Zizzi and Ask restaurants, as continues to grow in every UK retail sector.

Ends –

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Rob Dyson, Head of Marketing and Communications at Pennies on 07813 091 970 / rob.dyson@pennies.org.uk.

*Pennies’ consumer research poll surveyed 2,025 UK adults. It was undertaken by Markettiers and was conducted in April 2018. For more information and statistics from this survey please contact Rob Dyson as above.

About Pennies

To date, 60M customer micro-donations have been made across more than 50 retailers –raising £15M+ for over 400 UK charities.

Pennies estimates that if the UK’s card holders donated 30p once a month over £190M would be raised for charity every year.

Someone currently gives via Pennies every two seconds.

How Pennies works

Pennies’ micro-donations are anonymous – personal data-free, quick, and a choice every time. The retailer nominates the charity that its customers can support. No data is collected, and there is no follow up; it really is about dropping a few pence in a charity box – but via a debit or credit card or mobile wallet.

Press ‘YES’ on the Chip & PIN machine in-store, or click the ‘Donate’ button online.  The request is always for a few pennies (1p-99p) – either by rounding up or topping up.



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