We have a lot of panhandlers here in Chicago. And street musicians. I like to give them money when I have it, but I hardly ever have cash.
Seems like Visa, Amex or Mastercard could create some little handheld devices that would tie to a special savings account, allowing passers-by to give money, even if they have no change. Click for a photo of my design, if you can’t see it above.
What it is:
- Hand-held debit/credit-card processing device for homeless people, street musicians, etc.
- Deposits directly into a special savings account with a decent interest rate
- Features a USB port for recharging at ATMs, shelters, grocery stores, etc.
- Easy denomination selector on the top of the device, elastic strap on the back
Why it’s cool:
- Makes it super easy to give money (and receive money)
- Cash can be used to buy things that aren’t necessary (booze, cigs, drugs, comic books), and the special savings account makes it more secure
- Donators can track your charitable contributions online
- Comes with a special debit card that would reject purchases of booze/cigs/comics
- That card would get the users some cool discounts to encourage good spending habits (marketing opportunity)
- Banks or other organizations could match (partial or whole) the contributions made in an entire city, or by donations made from a given bank’s customer base
All of y’all out there, what do you think?