Oxfam tests NFC for donations and content sharing

Oxfam NFC poster
TAP TO DONATE: Supporters can back Oxfam’s work using NFC-enabled posters

Oxfam is to trial NFC-enabled interactive posters, wristbands and collection tins in UK towns to let supporters make donations and see video content highlighting the charity’s work using their NFC phones.

To donate money, supporters in Henley and Northampton will be able to tap the posters hung in the charity’s shop windows to trigger a text message that they send to the charity to complete their donation to its Strength to Survive appeal.

A small number of Oxfam fundraisers will also be equipped with NFC wristbands and collection tins which, when tapped, will take supporters to an Oxfam video which will show how their donations will help alleviate poverty around the world.

“We’ve identified two different use scenarios,” Matt Jerwood, Oxfam’s digital fundraising lead, explained to NFC World. “One is that someone is walking past a shop and wants to make a donation, and the other is that someone has had a conversation with the street fundraiser and we want to give them a piece of engaging content to go away with.

“With the first example, they would see a poster in the shop window. They can tap their phone on the area we’ve highlighted as the right place to tap, and then it would open a pre-filled text message with an appropriate keyword and short code in it.

“We’re using NFC as a means to start an SMS donation and the supporter would need to actually send that message, so we don’t just send it but it opens a message with the correct recipient and keyword in place. This is a trial split in two; with the poster, we’re looking at NFC for donation and, with the street fundraiser, it’s about content.”

The trial follows Cancer Research UK’s installation of contactless payment technology in four shop windows in January, enabling passersby to make a £2 donation to the charity by tapping their contactless card to a POS terminal placed on the other side of the glass.

“The primary reason for us going down the route of NFC was onward engagement, in terms of being able to say thank you to the supporter and to say here’s an interesting example of our work, here’s something you can take away,” Jerwood added.

“If it was a contactless payment, there would almost be no response to it so you tap the card, the small payment would be taken and that’s the end of your journey with Oxfam, rather than tap your phone, watch a video, understand more about our cause and we hope that that would result in a better experience.

“We explored it [contactless] in much less detail. We’ve seen a couple of examples of where people have said it’s upcoming and we’ve said we’re interested in that but we looked at NFC primarily because we prioritised the need for a ‘thank you’ mechanic and some onward engagement.”

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