Having a few spare pennies in your pocket is becoming a thing of the past amongst today’s younger generation, as the increased use of debit and credit cards have led to more people living a cashless existence.

  • One in ten 25-34 year olds never carry physical money, relying entirely on cards.
  • Eight per cent of UK adults wouldn’t pick up cash they found in the street.
  • More than half notice fewer charity collection tins than there used to be.

The findings were uncovered in a recent survey on attitudes to charitable donations commissioned by The Pennies Foundation. The research found that one in ten young people in the UK aged between 25 and 34 years never carry cash, instead relying entirely on cards. They are included in the 5% of all UK adults who now live a cashless existence, with a third of us (33%) leaving the house regularly without carrying physical money.

Further findings from the report suggest that misplaced coins are no big loss for most people – less than half of us (47%) would bother to pick up a penny on the street, while a quarter (25%) wouldn’t even bother to stoop for anything less than 20p, and a further 8% would never pick up any coins at all.

But as card use increases, there is a new opportunity to collect electronic pennies in the same way people used to drop their spare change into the charity box. The Pennies Foundation has created Pennies, the electronic charity box, giving people who use cards the chance to donate their spare “change” from everyday transactions.

Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, commented: “Pennies gives shoppers the chance to donate their spare change with a single touch of a button and it’s the perfect way to give a few pennies to charity spontaneously as the cashless trend continues.”

“Our research shows that 62% of Britons will drop a few pennies into a charity box while shopping, but more than half of us have noticed a decline in these physical boxes. This, combined with the growing numbers of people choosing to pay by card and not carry cash, means the traditional way of donating small change to charity is under threat.  We hope that with the introduction of Pennies, that doesn’t have to happen.”

Pennies has been steadily growing for nearly two years as more and more retailers join in, resulting in customers pressing the ‘donate’ button over 3 million times and raising more than £750K for charity. As momentum builds, a breadth of supporters across business and entertainment industries have been getting behind the movement, including Prince Harry, Cheryl Cole, Joanna Shields and Sir Stuart Rose




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