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The Salvation Army this year is accepting donations made with debit and credit cards in more than 120 cities after tests last year in three cities substantially raised the amount of funds consumers donated to the charitable organization. Salvation Army units in Dallas, Los Angeles and Colorado Springs, Colo., tested debit and credit card acceptance during the organization's annual 2008 Red Kettle campaign, which runs from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. The average donation in Dallas rose to an average of $14 from an average of $2 when consumers paid using credit or debit cards, a Salvation Army spokesperson tells ATM&Debit News, a CardLine sister publication. The Salvation Army could not provide a figure for the amount of funds raised through donations made with cards in Los Angeles and Colorado Springs. Last year, the Salvation Army campaign raised a record $130 million in donations, but the Alexandria, Va.-based organization would not say how much consumers donated using cards. This year, Salvation Army volunteers are placing portable card-accepting payment terminals at 300 kettles in the 120 cities. Elavon Global Acquiring Solutions, an Atlanta-based subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, processed card transactions in Los Angeles for the Salvation Army, and Elavon may process card transactions nationwide for the charity, a U.S. Bank spokesperson says. U.S. Bancorp last year also provided Salvation Army volunteers in Los Angeles with payment terminals from VeriFone Holdings Inc. The Salvation Army, however, is a decentralized organization that operates through four regions, and the regions decide individually which payment terminals they use, says the Salvation Army spokesperson.

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