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Now you can donate money to the homeless just with a scan of a barcode from your smartphone in a move to get more people to give to the poor
- Homeless people could be given barcodes to allow people to donate money
- Good Samaritans will be able to make cashless donations by using smartphones
- Social enterprise Greater Change has created the revolutionary mechanism
- And the remarkable project is currently being trialled in Oxford city centre
Homeless people could be given barcodes to allow people to donate money with their smartphones.
A new project, currently being trialled in Oxford, has come up with a novel way of helping homeless people get off the streets amid an ever-growing cashless society.
Social enterprise Greater Change has created the revolutionary mechanism which allows the public to donate as much money as they wish to homeless people, directly from their phone.
Homeless people could be given barcodes to allow people to donate money with their smartphones
Those who sign up to the scheme are given a QR code to wear, much like the ones used on online tickets, which links directly to a restricted fund to be spent only on agreed targets.
A case worker co-manages the donations to ensure the money is spent only on the goals, such as rent deposit or documentation including passports.
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The project is currently being run around Oxford city centre and it is backed by Oxford University and the city’s Said Business School.
Greater Change founder Alex McMallion said: ‘The problem we’re trying to solve here is that we live in an increasingly cashless society.
Social enterprise Greater Change has created the revolutionary mechanism which allows the public to donate as much money as they wish to homeless people, directly from their phone
‘As well as this, when people give, they worry about what that money might be spent on.
How will the barcodes work?
Greater Change will work alongside case workers and charities to hand out the QR codes so the public can donate as much money as they wish to homeless people, directly from their smartphones.
Donating using the Greater Change app, people can scan the homeless person’s barcode, which is handed out on a lanyard.
Donating using the Greater Change app, people can scan the homeless person’s barcode
The donor will then see a biography of the homeless person on their phone screen, describing how they ended up on the streets, and their goals.
An amount can then be chosen by the donor and sent.
Donations can then be made directly from the phone, using any browser or the designated app.
‘So the solution we’ve come up with is a giving mechanism through your smartphone to a restricted fund.’
Earlier this year, The Big said increasingly cashless payments are contributing to a decline in sales for its magazine, which is sold by homeless people, as it trials contactless solutions.
Russell Blackman, the Big Issue’s managing director, said that they are looking into ways to roll out cashless payments to all its vendors.
‘It is vital that we develop the right contactless solution for our vendors, ensuring that they can get instant access to their funds, even if they don’t have their own bank account due to a lack of permanent address,’ he said.
Alex added: ‘Having spoken to a number of people about it, some are comfortable with the bar code, and some people aren’t.
‘But it’s entirely up to individuals how they display their bar code – be it on the lanyard, or handing them out or putting them on a sign. People can use it in the way they wish.’
Neil Coyle MP, the Labour co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ending Homelessness told The Telegraph : ‘Necessity has again become the mother of invention and now there is an app to try and help generate more public donations to homeless people.’
Yet he continued that with homelessness escalating in recent years, the app will fail to help tackle the broader issues such as a lack of drug and alcohol cessation programmes, affordable housing and mental health care.
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