Recreations of artefacts used for contactless donations

Contactless donations

The National Trust for Scotland is looking to boost donations by inviting visitors to use technology to hand over their cash

8th October 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity is looking to tap the past to preserve the future.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has revealed that supporters will be able to make contactless donations, thanks to a new partnership with Bank of Scotland and Visa.

Recreations of two unique Scottish artefacts have been unveiled at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway and Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire, both of which will act as contactless donation points.

The two contactless artefacts are recreations of a bust of Robert Burns and of a 1766 painting of Colonel William Gordon at Fyvie Castle.

The trust hopes the Tap the Past to Preserve the Future initiative will raise vital to support its work to protect Scotland’s heritage for future generations, at a time when the volume of traditional cash donations is falling.

The bespoke creations have been weeks in the making, with the Robert Burns bust formed using the latest in 3D scanning technology to capture every detail of the original. The makers worked closely with the trust’s expert property and curatorial staff to create high quality replicas which are almost identical to the original pieces, but with a contactless card reader integrated. Visitors to the sites will be able tap the contactless logo on each object to donate a fixed amount of £2.

This partnership comes at a time when, according to research by UK Finance, use of notes and coins dropped by 15% last year. Meanwhile contactless debit and credit card payments increased by 97% during 2017 to £5.6 billion, with almost two thirds of people in the UK now making contactless payments.

Simon Skinner, chief executive at NTS, said: “Like all charities, we face a significant fundraising challenge as cash donations have fallen sharply in recent years. This initiative could not come at a more crucial time and will enable us to accept contactless donations at our sites for the first time. 

“It’s only through the support of our visitors, members and donors that our charity can help to protect Scotland’s natural and national treasures, like Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and Fyvie Castle, for everyone to enjoy.”

Ricky Diggins, network director at Bank of Scotland, said: “In 1786, Robert Burns composed a poem on the back of a Bank of Scotland note, so it is fantastic to see a recreation of him now accepting contactless donations, helping to preserve treasured historical sites in Scotland.”