The Salvation Army partners with Visa, tiptap for contactless kettle donations

Nov 16, 2021 | by Brad Rowland

The Salvation Army partners with Visa, tiptap for contactless kettle donations

No cash? No problem. On Nov. 16, 2021, Visa announced a pilot program with The Salvation Army and tiptap to make donations contactless at The Salvation Army's iconic Red Kettles this holiday season. When shoppers hear those familiar bells, they'll be able to give back by simply tapping their contactless card, phone or watch on the tiptap devices – the same way they do in stores – no need to carry cash, scan a QR code, or touch anything.

The pilot is rolling out across the East and West Coasts, enabling tap to give at nearly 2,000 Salvation Army Red Kettle stations in places like Washington, D.C., Southern California, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Visa data shows U.S. penetration of contactless payments has doubled from just over a year ago with 400 million contactless cards now in circulation. It's clear that enabling people to tap to give – quickly, easily and securely – has the potential to increase donation amounts and provide added support to those in need.

"Tapping to pay has become an integral part of everyday life, especially over the last two years. As the holidays approach, there's tremendous opportunity to incorporate the simple, safe, touchless, and secure contactless payments that people rely on into charitable giving," said Kimberly Lawrence, head of U.S., Visa. "Now, giving back to your local community through one of the most recognizable charitable holiday campaigns is as simple as a tap."

Visa, The Salvation Army and tiptap are committed to make the process of donating easier, and to providing support during what could be a challenging holiday season for many. Today, 62% of Americans say they have been living paycheck to paycheck since the pandemic began and 63.1 million Americans report that they have had difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the last week2.

The Salvation Army is the nation's largest private provider of social services, and its Red Kettle campaign is a vital source of holiday giving. In 2020, the campaign generated $120 million in donations that stayed in local communities where the donations were made. This year the organization estimates it will need $175 million — almost 50% more than raised in 2020 — to support Americans struggling from ongoing financial challenges. Expanding this traditionally cash-based donation program has the potential to bring an increase in giving – making every dime, dollar, and tap count. All you need to do is choose the donation amount when you tap your card, and you're able to donate in seconds.

"Since the Red Kettle Campaign was first launched in San Francisco in 1891, The Salvation Army has always looked at different ways to engage our donors during the holiday season. It's even more important now as our society is increasingly operating from a cashless economy. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to support their local communities," said Major Darren Norton, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army's Golden State Division, based in San Francisco. "We're impressed by the tiptap technology and are looking forward to offering a new cashless way that people can donate."

“We are grateful for the opportunity to team up with Visa for this year’s Red Kettle campaign,” said Major Mark Woodcock, National Capital Area Commander, The Salvation Army. “The tiptap devices will make it easy for anyone low on cash to support our work in the community whenever and wherever they visit The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles this season.”

"We are so excited to be partnering with Visa this holiday season here in California's capital," said Major John Brackenbury, Del Oro Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army. "This new tiptap technology will make donating to The Salvation Army and making a positive change in the community easier and faster than ever. Over 135 years of serving the Sacramento region, we have had to adapt to using the latest technology to serve the most vulnerable, but our mission has always stayed the same. We exist to serve others without discrimination. Thank you, Visa, for helping us take that next step."

"As people carry less and less cash in their pockets, its crucial for charities and community organizations that rely heavily on in-person donations, to provide a safe, secure and easy way for people to give," said Chris Greenfield, Founder and CEO of tiptap. "We are excited to partner with Visa and The Salvation Army to add a touchless giving option to its local fundraising efforts, so people can continue to be generous this holiday season, even when they don't have cash on-hand."

This pilot program will be available at select locations across the U.S. tiptap has partnered with The Salvation Army in Canada for the past three years, to offer Visa cardholders a safe and simple way to donate at Christmas Kettles. For more information on where you can tap to give back this holiday season, visit:

Recent Stories

Related Content: Breaking NewsSouthern Spirit Online

Get Involved

A gift to The Salvation Army helps someone in your community.

Give Now



Do Good in your community

Find Worship

Join us throughout the week for worship, fellowship, Bible study, meals, community service and fun.