Card Payment Machine For Charities: What Are Your Options?

In the ever-evolving landscape of fundraising, charities are increasingly adapting to the digital age by embracing card payments. However, navigating the realm of card machines for charitable purposes can be complex. Let’s delve into the options available and uncover the best solutions for charity donations.

Understanding Acceptance by Card Machine Providers

Unlike traditional businesses, charities, community groups, and individual fundraisers encounter unique challenges when seeking card machine services. While many card machine companies cater to businesses and sole traders, not all extend their services to non-profit organizations. It’s essential to verify whether a provider accepts charitable donations before proceeding with the application process.

Pay-As-You-Go Card Readers

For small charities, pay-as-you-go card readers from leading providers like SumUp, Square, and Zettle offer accessible and affordable solutions. These card readers come with no contractual obligations, hidden fees, or monthly charges, making them ideal for charities operating on a limited budget. Additionally, these providers facilitate seamless signup processes for charitable organizations, ensuring a hassle-free experience.


Square welcomes charities and non-profit organizations, allowing them to easily integrate card payment solutions into their fundraising efforts. With simple signup procedures and transparent pricing, Square empowers charities to accept donations efficiently.


While not explicitly marketed to charities, Zettle extends its services to registered charitable organizations. By offering card readers at competitive prices, Zettle enables charities to embrace cashless donations and streamline their fundraising activities.


SumUp embraces charitable and non-profit organizations, providing them with cost-effective card payment solutions. With straightforward signup processes and affordable transaction fees, SumUp facilitates seamless donation collection for charities of all sizes.

Merchant Service Providers

Some merchant service providers cater to registered charities, offering comprehensive solutions tailored to their specific needs. While these packages may entail commitment and ongoing fees, they often provide high-end card machine models and competitive transaction rates. However, they are more suitable for charities with regular donation streams and higher sales volumes.

Specialized Charity Payment Solutions

For charities seeking specialized payment solutions, several companies offer dedicated card machines designed specifically for fundraising purposes. These solutions often include additional features such as tablet integration and customizable donation interfaces, catering to the unique requirements of charitable organizations.

Tap-on-Phone Technology

The emergence of tap-on-phone technology presents a convenient and innovative payment solution for charities. By utilizing smartphones as card machines, charities can accept donations seamlessly through contactless payments. While currently limited to Android devices, tap-on-phone technology offers a promising avenue for future fundraising endeavors.

Alternative Payment Methods

In addition to card payments, charities can explore alternative donation methods such as text-to-donate, QR code payments, payment links, and online fundraising platforms. While these options may incur higher transaction fees, they provide versatility and cater to diverse donor preferences.


Embracing card payments is essential for modern charities seeking to maximize their fundraising potential. Whether opting for pay-as-you-go card readers or specialized charity payment solutions, selecting the right card machine is paramount for facilitating seamless donation collection. By leveraging innovative technologies and tailored solutions, charities can enhance their fundraising efforts and drive positive impact in their communities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can charities use traditional card machines meant for businesses?

While some card machine providers extend their services to registered charities, not all do. It’s essential for charities to verify whether a provider accepts charitable donations before proceeding with the application process.

Are there any restrictions on who can apply for a card machine for charity donations?

In most cases, card machine providers require applicants to be officially registered as a charity or non-profit organization in the UK. Additionally, individuals seeking to collect donations on behalf of a charity must register as representatives or staff members of the organization.

What are the benefits of pay-as-you-go card readers for charities?

Pay-as-you-go card readers offer charities accessibility, affordability, and flexibility. With no contractual obligations or hidden fees, these solutions enable charities to accept donations seamlessly without straining their budgets.

Do specialized charity payment solutions offer additional features beyond card payment processing?

Yes, specialized charity payment solutions often include features such as tablet integration, customizable donation interfaces, and dedicated fundraising tools. These solutions are designed to cater specifically to the unique requirements of charitable organizations.

Is tap-on-phone technology compatible with all smartphones?

Currently, tap-on-phone technology is limited to Android devices. While this technology presents a convenient payment solution for charities, it may not be accessible to users of iOS devices.

What are alternative payment methods for charities?

In addition to card payments, charities can explore alternative donation methods such as text-to-donate, QR code payments, payment links, and online fundraising platforms. These options offer versatility and cater to diverse donor preferences.

How can charities ensure compliance with financial regulations when accepting card payments?

Charities must ensure compliance with applicable financial sanction regime regulations when accepting card payments. By adhering to regulatory requirements and utilizing reputable card machine providers, charities can mitigate the risk of involvement in illegal activities.