Innovators Enable Homeless People to Take Donations via Smartphones

August 8, 2018

A team of innovators has created a smartphone app that enables homeless people to accept charitable donations without the need for cash to change hands.

The app is called Greater Change and the idea is that homeless people have an account on the platform that allows donators to identify them and switch them money directly via their smartphone devices.

Greater Change has been established as a social enterprise with links to a charity called Aspire Oxford and Oxford University, with the aim being to help solve some of the most common problems currently facing people who are without a permanent place to live.

Among those problems is the fact that fewer and fewer people are carrying cash and spare change around with them in everyday life and so they are often unable to give money to homeless people even when they might be inclined to do so.

The hope is that the Greater Change system will also discourage people from spending money they’ve been handed on drugs or alcohol and help them to benefit in more long-term ways from any contributions they receive.

Alex McCallion, the founder of the app, has explained that the core idea behind it was that he might be able to combine cashless technology, with charity-led support and public generosity to create a system that ultimately contributes to a reduction in homelessness.

The process of giving money via Greater Change involves the intended recipient showing a personalised QR code and having it scanned by the person making the donation via their smartphone and the relevant app.

Money donated goes into a restricted account and those funds can only be used for a specific purpose that has been agreed to in conjunction with representatives of local charities.

“I think it is incredibly exciting that Greater Change allows the public to know they will be helping homeless people take that positive next step when they give through the platform,” said Paul Roberts, the chief executive of Aspire Oxford.

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