"Collection is still the best appreciated channel among donators, according to recent GFK research", says Mara Scheirlinck - Zirschky, Product Manager at KWF Dutch Cancer Society: "Because collection is safe, one-off and anonymous. Revenues have been stable at around 6 million euros in recent years, but we always have to keep innovating in order to maintain revenues".
Wouter Langeveld, Manager Marketing & Communication at the Dutch Kidney Foundation, also recognises this: "We have been seeing the income from collections decline for some time now. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it's more difficult to find volunteers for the collections. In addition, it's becoming increasingly difficult to get cash money from people. Simply because they often run out of cash."
But that's not all. Mara: "Moreover, we will have another challenge next year. The deposit points for cash will be moved to Geldmaat. It is worrisome that the deposit points are moving, which means that our collectors have to travel with a lot of money in their pockets. Depositing is therefore also becoming more risky."
"Fortunately, there are now possibilities to introduce new payment methods to the collection," says Wouter. "Moreover, digital forms of payment can also make collecting safer for the collector.
Mara: "We had been looking for a solution for a couple of years for the decline in cash collection. But that solution was always found in an app that the consumer had to download. And we really didn't want that. In 2017, we tested "PIN boxes" to make collecting easier. For example, we had 500 collectors boxes that consumers could use to donate via debet card".
Wouter explains: "With 24 collection funds, we did a pilot with a collection box containing a point-of-sale terminal for contactless debit card payment. That turned out to be a success in terms of results and appreciation. The disadvantage is that this box was extremely expensive. It was also a logistical problem to have these collection vans rotate along all the funds. In the end, after two years in which we learned a lot, we decided that this was not the future".
And then came the opportunity to pay with a QR code. Wouter: "With iDEAL QR, the investment is, of course, relatively small. You send the QR code along with the collector's ID and you only have the transaction costs to pay! Mara agrees: "The convenience of iDEAL QR is that it's accessible to everyone. The collector doesn't need a device. It's just a matter of adding a sticker, and you're done!"
Last year almost all collecting funds started a pilot for donating via QR code. This was for example shown on the collection box, and ID card or not-at-home cards. By scanning this iDEAL QR code, donors enter a secure payment environment where donators can adjust the pre-filled amount if desired. They go to the secure banking app of their own bank to pay for the transaction via iDEAL. This makes it easy to donate, even without cash in your pocket. A few clicks and the donation is complete. Completely anonymous of course, just like with cash.
Wouter: "When we started this iDEAL QR pilot in 2018, not all banks had yet included this payment method in the payment app. Now, in 2019, you will see that iDEAL QR is supported by all banks and that QR codes and iDEAL QR will become known among consumers. As a result, this year, in the second round of the pilot, we see an increase of a factor of 15 in results compared to the first pilot last year".
In addition to a growing awareness of iDEAL QR and adoption by Dutch banks, there has been another change compared to the first pilot last year, when this was done with a generic QR code, where all donors of the same fund used the same QR code.
Wouter: "Our collectors are of course very keen to have a nice yield in their box. You can ask them to promote the QR code, but what if they don't see what they bring in? Seeing less revenue because you only see what you have collected in cash makes collectors less enthusiastic. So we started a pilot with a personalised QR code. This was a pilot by the KWF, Dutch Kidney Foundation and Stb that manages the collection system - Collecteweb - of some collection funds, and CM.com.".
Mara: "KWF has put maximum effort in informing volunteers about the use of the personal QR. The personal QR sticker was collected at 191 locations in the Netherlands. Locally coordinators could see how much money had been collected, which was very motivating".
The Dutch Kidney Foundation opted for personal QR codes for all collectors. Wouter: "Communication is crucial in this story. There are 60,000 collectors across the country, so we can't train them all. But you can make sure that they receive information about iDEAL QR, for example, via the collectors' magazine and via the district heads. If people don't know it well, it might be a bit scary to deploy."
"It's about good communication to the collector, through the newsletter but also certainly through the district head", Mara emphasizes. "The district leaders are the direct link to the collector, so they play a crucial role in this. If the district leaders know how iDEAL QR works, believe in it and start propagating it, more collectors will point out iDEAL QR to consumers".
Collecteweb, the platform for collectors, also plays an indispensable role in the communication. Stb provides this CRM software for the collaborating collection funds. Rob Goijen, Managing Director of Stb: "Our platform supports all primary processes of collecting funds. That means 'staffing', but also order processing, the geographical layout of neighborhoods and walking routes, and financial processing.
Collecteweb as a central starting point for all collectors offers the platform to inform and enthuse all collectors about the QR code. Here personal QR codes can be downloaded, and charities can share instruction videos and intermediate stands. District heads can also print QR codes here. "So distribution does not have to be done via expensive channels, but can be accessed from the platform," explains Rob.
Of course, technology also plays a facilitating role in the success of the collection. "This is not the first time we have worked with CM.com," says Rob. "CM.com is one of the leading parties working for charities with regard to payments, and the collaborating party in this area of the KWF and the Dutch Kidney Foundation, which were the driving force behind the use of iDEAL QR. CM.com generates both the generic and the personalized QR codes for the collectors".
"Together with KWF, the Dutch Kidney Foundation and CM.com we have adapted it so that each collector can get an individual QR code which he can stick on his ID. When this code is scanned, the payment process is done via CM.com. This all happens completely anonymous, so no further data is shared with CM.com, except for the number that belongs to the QR code. In our platform, the data belonging to the code is linked to the correct collector again".
And that shows promising results. "With iDEAL QR, the average yield has increased significantly," concludes Rob after looking at the results of the collections in Collecteweb.
Mara is also enthusiastic: "We have seen that iDEAL QR yields more than cash. In total, more has been collected, and the average donation is also higher".
Wouter: "Considering the initial stage in which QR payments are well known, I find the result very encouraging. Especially considering the average donation."
KWF, Dutch Kidney Foundation and Stb unanimously see a bright future for iDEAL QR for charities. According to Rob, "iDEAL QR does what it's supposed to do. iDEAL QR beautifully combines the physical world with digital fintech. I foresee that a lot of charities will roll out iDEAL QR and personalized QR codes. QR is versatile, cheap and easy to distribute. So you can also use it for small-scale collections". "And we expect even more in the future! Mara says.
Experience for yourself how easy iDEAL QR works! Scan the iDEAL QR code and make a donation to KWF.
Of course, the QR code can be rolled out even further than in this pilot. "Think of personalized QR codes on the not-at-home flyers," Mara mentions as an example. "Or on a digital collection box on social media," adds Rob. "By bringing all incoming channels together in Collecteweb, collectors can see exactly what they have collected. That's certainly an extra motivator!
According to Mara, it is also important to choose one method. "Not just for KWF, but for all charities. What we see is that one positive experience already shows that the collector will offer it easier next time. The power of charities is working together. We all want the same thing, so we don't see each other as competitors". Wouter joins them: "We share the results with each other. By sharing, you can help each other. Smaller funds can also make use of resources that we have set up".
"That also helps the consumer who opens the door," Wouter adds. "The only thing is that people aren't so used to paying with a mobile phone. That will also change. You can see that plastic money will disappear in the foreseeable future. If the giver is confronted more and more with the QR code in the coming year, things can go fast. All collection funds will benefit if other collection funds start using the QR code as well".
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