Pennies and Whitbread partnership accelerates growth in hospitality digital donations

Pennies, the award winning UK fintech charity, announced Whitbread as its newest partner – joining a host of leaders in the UK hospitality sector that are embracing “technology for good” by offering anonymous digital donation to customers.

Posted by Pennies

Published 13 May, 2019

Pennies, the award winning UK fintech charity, today announced Whitbread as its newest partner – joining a host of leaders in the UK hospitality sector that are embracing “technology for good” by offering anonymous digital donation to customers.

Pennies’ digital charity box offers a multi-sector and omni-channel option for hospitality and retail businesses to collect consumer donations when paying by card or digital wallet. Customers are prompted to round-up or top-up on a purchase via the card terminal screen – with a simple ‘yes or no’ option, and can donate entirely anonymously. The digital charity box is now present in over 7,000 shopfronts as well as on many mobile commerce and online platforms.

Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO of Pennies added:

“We’re thrilled to welcome Whitbread to the Pennies family and the potential is enormous for scaling up support for its charity partner Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. This includes helping Whitbread’s fundraising towards the hospital’s new Sight and Sound Centre, due to open in 2020.”

“In the last three months alone, Pennies have greatly expanded our reach in the hospitality industry, enabling over 2,000 new restaurant, bar and pub outlets to offer their customers’ the option to donate a few digital pennies.”

Inside Whitbread Bar & Block Aldgate

Simon Ewins, Managing Director of Whitbread-owned Premier Inn, said:

“We are tremendously proud to support our national charity partner, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and since 2012, we’ve raised over £14 million. These funds have supported a variety of fantastic projects including the Premier Inn Clinical Building, which has already helped to treat thousands of seriously ill children from across the UK since opening last year. Thanks to this partnership with Pennies, it’s now even easier for our guests to donate when paying by card if they wish to do so, putting us a step closer to achieving our ambition of raising £10 million towards GOSH’s new Sight and Sound Centre, which will be the first dedicated medical facility for children with sight and hearing loss in the UK.”

Whitbread joins Pennies’ micro-donation movement of hospitality leaders, which include Greene King, Fullers, Drake & Morgan, Zizzi Restaurants and Ask Italian – and online merchants such as Domino’s and Papa John’s.

Pennies donation in payments technology in action

Alison added:

“This week, the Charities Aid Foundation reports that fewer people are giving directly to charity, but we wonder to what extent the sector is perhaps not responding fast enough to changing consumer habits and use of technology. We are finding that the generosity of the UK public continues to exceed our expectations. Pennies are already enabling around 2,000 micro-donations every hour which is great news at a time we know is challenging for the high street and challenging for charities. These are of course pennies at a time adding up to make a huge difference.”  

“However, we are only at the tip of the iceberg; if every card holder in the UK gave just 30p a day, £190M new funding could be raised every year for vital causes and communities across the UK and beyond.” 

Pennies has enabled an incredible 70 million small change digital donations to date through its digital charity box, raising £18 million in extra income for more than 400 charities, and growing. Someone currently gives via Pennies every two seconds.


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

Notes to Editors

  • Pennies is a fintech charity (registered no. 1122489) launched in November 2010. It is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, designed to fit with our increasingly cashless lifestyles. Anyone can ‘feel-good’ give with participating Pennies retailers – by donating a few pence to charity when paying by card or digital wallet. It’s as simple as a single press of a button or click of a mouse.
  • Pennies estimates that if the UK’s card holders donated 30p once a month over £190M would be raised for charity every year.
  • Pennies is live across a breadth of 60+ retail, hospitality and service sector leaders across the UK, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, including Domino’s, Boots Opticians, Oasis Fashion, Screwfix, Hobbycraft, Topps Tiles, Virgin Holidays, Zizzi, The Entertainer, and Rontec and MFL roadside retail outlets.
  • The charity was recently highlighted in Harrington Starr’s Financial Technologist ‘175 global fintech influencers’ in 2019; the only charity on the list.

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