The UK’s payment technology industry has a large part to play in the fast-growing microdonations movement with the “climate right for the payments industry to be a big player in improving lives”, said Al Lukies CBE, The Prime Minister’s fintech Business Ambassador. 

Lukies was speaking at an event of retail, hospitality and payment technology leaders, hosted by the fintech charity Pennies, the digital charity box. 

Al Lukies CBE said:

“Consumers are demanding more, they are more aspiring and hopeful – and the retail industry is using the technology created by payments, and movements like Pennies’, to create a myriad of opportunities to improve the world a little.”  


“The lightning speed growth of Pennies demonstrates a burning public desire to contribute, but the key players of paytech and retail need to embrace the moment and unlock the clearly huge potential.” 

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. 

Microdonations' is now

Pennies CEO, Alison Hutchinson CBE added,

“Consumers are strongly embracing data-free digital giving. Pennies has seen over 50% higher donation levels than this time last year, and this momentum has enabled over 60M micro-donations – and counting – in total; as fewer of us use or carry cash but still want to give a little back.” 

Recent research* commissioned by Pennies revealed over a third of the UK public said they leave the house “frequently” with no cash on them, yet the propensity to give remains high. 87% of the public said they give to charity, but as we edge further into a ‘less cash’ society these opportunities need to include digital. Pennies’ poll indicates a willing consumer base with 64% stating they would use Pennies’ way of digitally giving if offered. 

Hutchinson continued,

“Retail customer giving is a growth success story at a time we know is challenging for the sector. But we are only at the tip of the iceberg; if every card holder in the UK gave just 30p a day, £190M could be annually raised for vital causes and communities across the UK and beyond. We need more payments firms to help retailers offer multichannel microgiving as standard.” 

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 / 

*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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