Apple Pay taps into charitable donations

The mobile payments service teams with 24 nonprofits, including International Rescue Committee, American Heart Association and World Vision, to make it easy to give money.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
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Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
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Apple Pay now works with charities such as Unicef to make donations seamless.


Now your thumbprint can donate to charity.

In time for Giving Tuesday, Apple partnered with two dozen nonprofits to let people use Apple Pay to make donations. Starting Monday, people can give through the mobile payments service to charities including American Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, Save the Children and World Wildlife Federation.

A few nonprofits, such as American Cancer Society, United Way and DonorsChoose.org, will integrate with Apple Pay "soon," though a specific date wasn't mentioned.

Apple has long worked with charities, letting customers buy special apps or make donations through iTunes. The integration with Apple Pay will make it more seamless for people to give money to nonprofits, as well as get more people to follow through with their donation vows.

Watch this: Tim Cook: 'We're going to kill cash'

"Apple Pay gives nonprofit supporters an effortless way to donate instantly," Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, said in an interview. "Websites and apps have been telling us they're seeing twice as many people completing their purchases with Apple Pay than with other payment methods."

Apple introduced Apple Pay two years ago and has since expanded the payment service to allow people to buy Big Macs at McDonalds using their iPhones and purchase new clothes, flowers or shoes online or in apps using only their thumbprints to authenticate payments. With the launch of its newest computer software this fall, Mac OS Sierra, users can now use Apple Pay in the Safari browser on their desktops and laptops.

Mobile payments was discussed for years before major tech companies like Apple, Google and Samsung got involved. Now, market researcher Gartner predicts that half of consumers in mature markets will be using phones or wearables for mobile payments by 2018, thanks to innovations in phones and payments services.

Apple Pay is now available in 12 markets, including Australia, China and Russia. In the US, nearly 90 percent of all contactless transactions are made with the service. And overall, more than half of Apple Pay's transaction volume now comes from non-US markets. Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook predicted his company would "kill cash."

"More and more people are using mobile phones and digital devices to pay in store and in app," Bailey said Monday. "We think the momentum is fantastic. We think it will continue as strongly as it has these first couple years."

Here are the Apple Pay-supported nonprofits so far:

  • American Red Cross
  • American Heart Association
  • charity: water
  • Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
  • COPD Foundation
  • Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)
  • Doctors without Borders
  • Feeding America
  • GlobalGiving
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Red
  • St.Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Save the Children
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • The Water Project
  • WNET
  • World Vision
  • WWF (World Wildlife Federation)

Coming soon:

  • American Cancer Society
  • CARE
  • DonorsChoose.org
  • PBS and its local stations
  • United Way