Visa supports charitable organisations, including The Big Issue, to accept contactless donations


With an increasing number of mobile point-of-sale devices in the market, the number of contactless donations in Australia has tripled in the past 12 months1.


Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), the world’s leader in digital payments, has today announced its ongoing commitment to enable charitable organisations in Australia to accept digital payments. This follows news from The Big Issue, which will see up to 250 street vendors accept electronic payments for the first time.

Julian Potter, Visa’s Group Country Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific said, “Australians have a preference for tapping to pay, with more than 94% of Visa’s face-to-face transactions now being contactless2. By connecting Big Issue street vendors to the Visa network, we’re enabling them to accept electronic payments, where previously they have been reliant on cash.”

While various methods of accepting electronic payments have been available to charitable organisations for some time, Steven Persson, CEO of The Big Issue said, “Finding the right digital payment solutions for Big Issue vendors and our customers has been crucial. There were many factors we took into account; from money being quickly available to vendors, to affordable technology, and from ease of use to reliability.

“As a social enterprise, digital payments need to support and empower our street vendors and at the same time ensure security and protection of customers’ data.”

The Big Issue solution accepts QR code payments made via the Beem It app and contactless payments using new point-of-sale (POS) device AirPay. AirPay consists of a POS application and a card acceptance device that The Big Issue, in partnership with solution provider Quest Payment Systems (Quest) and National Australia Bank (NAB), will be making available to up to 250 street vendors from today. The device, which is on a lanyard, acts like a POS terminal in a store. Visa’s role in this environment is to set the conditions for the ecosystem to succeed. This involves certifying POS devices such as AirPay, setting the standards for the security of commerce, ensuring devices are EMV certified and PCI compliant, and enabling transactions.

“This is an area that is really starting to accelerate. In fact, the number of contactless donations made in Australia using Quest Donation Point Tap terminals has tripled in the past 12 months3. And it’s not just about working with terminal providers and manufacturers; this is a whole of ecosystem approach. Once devices are certified as meeting the necessary security standards, there is a role for financial institutions to enable their charity customers to accept pre-set contactless donations,” said Mr Potter.

Quest is one example of an Australian company making demonstrable progress towards driving contactless donations. 

Jan Mason, CEO of Quest said, “We are passionate believers of using our technology for the greater good. In the past 12 months our Donation Point Tap terminals have processed more than a million dollars for not-for-profit organisations, and the solution we have developed for The Big Issue is an example of our continued support for this sector. The industry has been very supportive of our drive to enable charities to accept tap to pay, and we’re excited to continue these partnerships, working to ensure donors keep tapping their cards in the same way they have previously dropped small change into a collection box”.

Visa has long been committed to bringing greater financial inclusion to people around the world. Today, more than half of the world’s adult population is unbanked4. Digital payments are an “on ramp” to financial inclusion – very often, they are the first formal financial product a person uses. Visa has spent the last 60 years connecting hundreds of millions of people and organisations to a global system that enables fast, secure and reliable transactions.

In 2015, Visa made a public commitment to provide payments accounts to another 500 million people who do not use banking services as part of the World Bank’s call for Universal Financial Access by 2020.

“We believe we all have a role to play in driving financial inclusion. This complements our mission to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network, in a way that enables individuals, businesses and economies to thrive,” added Mr Potter.


1 Transactions processed via Donation Point Tap over the past 12 months to September 2018, supplied by Quest

2 VisaNet June 2018

3 Transactions processed via Donation Point Tap over the past 12 months to September 2018, supplied by Quest

4 World Bank Global Findex 2014


About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa and @VisaNews.


About the Visa Foundation

The Visa Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Visa, works with charitable organisations to support underserved people and communities. As its central focus, the Visa Foundation is committed to helping low-income, financially underserved micro and small enterprises around the world to thrive and prosper. The Foundation also supports broader community needs as well as humanitarian responses in times of crisis.