Fundraisers wearing Christmas jumpers containing a contactless card reader built into the sleeve are in place at 16 London tube stations today, to raise funds for Save the Children’s annual Christmas Jumper Day appeal.
Developed by Visa’s in-house innovation team, the jumpers allow commuters to automatically donate £2 (US$2.52) to the appeal by simply tapping their contactless card or NFC mobile phone on the reader integrated into each of the fundraisers’ festive-themed sweaters.
Save the Children says it is expecting more than five million people across the UK to participate in this year’s appeal, which sees Brits raising funds by making a small donation to the charity in order to wear a Christmas jumper instead of their usual dress to work.
Contactless Christmas jumper pop-up shops have also been opened at Kings Cross and Canary Wharf tube stations so that “any commuters who have forgotten to ditch their day-to-day dress and don their festive knit” can purchase a vintage Christmas jumper to wear to work today.
Dubbed “the biggest, silliest Christmas Jumper Day ever”, the appeal also has a very serious side.
“Cash usage is falling as people increasingly choose to make payments by digital means instead, such that over 60% of face-to-face Visa transactions are now contactless,” Save the Children and Visa, which is sponsoring the appeal, say. “It’s crucial that new payments methods are incorporated into charities’ fundraising efforts so that they can maximise opportunities to accept donations.”