For the latest article in our ‘Viewpoint’ series, we take a look at the current digital trends in fintech, payments and fundraising and ask what they mean for charitable giving in the year to come.

2017 was a year of sector challenges. It was disappointing to learn that the UK slipped out of the top 10 most generous nations in the world, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s annual World Giving Index. And neither is the national mood quite as sunny as it might be, according to Britain Thinks who earlier this month published a survey citing 81% of the public are currently feeling anxious about the future.

But at Pennies, we believe that the UK public has that same feel-good urge burning in them as always, as evidenced by the growth we’ve seen in ad-hoc and small change giving to charity in 2017.

The Pennies Forecast digital trends for 2018With this in mind, we’ve taken a look the potential 2018 holds, and how developments in regulation, payments and consumer habits could affect how we donate to charity this year and beyond.

From GDPR to PSD2
In the charity sector, fundraisers will continue to diversify, especially as the sector prepares for the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which comes into force on 25th May. As a result, contactless collection methods will be more visible, offering charities another way to collect donations on the street and at fundraising events, as well as at the point of sale with Pennies.

If GDPR wasn’t enough, there will be more regulatory change on its way with PSD2 and open banking becoming a reality in 2018. Whilst we don’t expect this to transform payments overnight, it is paving the way for new industry players to offer payments directly from consumers’ bank accounts, without using the infrastructure of existing card schemes and networks.

As regulation begins to shift the payments landscape, consumer attitudes will impact how the sector evolves too.

The future for cash
This might sound odd coming from a fintech charity, but we should consider the use of cash in 2018 too. The recent introduction of the new £10 notes and £1 coins are clear indications that physical cash is not disappearing, but rather adapting to be more reliable and secure.

However, insight from Cash Services indicates that for the third year in a row, cash represented less than half of the total volume of payments in the UK in 2017. Whilst there will always be plurality in payment methods, cash is certainly no longer king.

Cashless - Domino's Pizza - Phone AppMillennials and Gen Z set the trend
Now that 2022 doesn’t sound like some distant future, it’s worth considering that 16-20 year olds (Generation Z) will predominantly be paying for goods using mobile devices in four years, according to recent research from Worldpay. This chimes with Expert Market’s latest analysis that a third (33%) of so-called millennials are avoiding using cash altogether, with 41% preferring to pay friends back by apps than with cash.

Last year, Pennies launched its first two contactless solutions with Worldpay and Optomany, and we will continue to grow opportunities in contactless and mobile wallets in 2018 to meet these changes in opportunity and habit. Together with our partners, we’re working to match the growing diversity in paytech as consumers adopt new ways to pay, and give, at different paces.

The final forecast
Despite recent consumer and retailer pressures we believe continued innovation can meet the public’s appetite to keep doing good, and make it easier than ever to give in 2018. And that’s something to smile about.


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