By Andrew Liszewski
Forgetting about all that commercial crap we’ve gotten used to putting up with, the holidays are mostly about giving. And nothing symbolizes that more than the Salvation Army’s red kettles that dot malls and street corners across the country this time of year. But this year many of those kettles received a high-tech upgrade that seems to have had a positive effect on people’s giving.
Initially trialed in Dallas, LA and Colorado Springs last year, the new kettles, which now feature a wireless debit/credit card terminal, have been setup in 300 locations in 120 different cities. And since being introduced the Salvation Army has found that the average giving when it comes to pocket change like coins and bills is about $2 or $3, but when using a debit or credit card the average is about $15. The wireless terminals are also completely safe to use since no personal information like credit card numbers is ever stored on the machines, and donors can even get a printed receipt for tax deduction purposes.