Visitors to National Trust for Scotland are hoping to tap their supporters for donations.
Those at trust properties will, for the first time, be able to make contactless donations to the charity, 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:
A bust of Robert Burns within the cottage at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire; and
A 1766 painting of Colonel William Gordon at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire
It is hoped that the ‘Tap the Past to Preserve the Future’ initiative will raise vital funds for the charity to support its valuable work protecting 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 new partnership comes at an important time as, according to research by UK Finance1, use of notes and coins dropped by 15% last year. Meanwhile contactless debit and credit card payments increased by 97 per cent during 2017 to 5.6 billion, with almost two thirds of people in the UK now making contactless payments.
Simon Skinner, chief executive at the National Trust for Scotland, 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.
‘Working closely with Bank of Scotland and Visa to install these contactless artefacts means even more people can help support all we do, for the love of Scotland.’
Ricky Diggins, network director at Bank of Scotland, added: ‘Bank of Scotland has been at the heart of local communities across Scotland for over three centuries and we are proud to share the National Trust for Scotland’s deep passion for the heritage of our country.
‘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.’
Mike Lemberger, head of product and solutions at Visa in Europe, said: ‘Contactless payments are more popular than ever with over half of face to face Visa transactions now made with a contactless card or payment-enabled device.
‘As more of us choose to benefit from the convenience, speed and security of contactless payments, we’re always looking for innovative ways to enable people to make contactless payments in places they might not expect.
‘Therefore we’re delighted to partner with National Trust for Scotland and Bank of Scotland to provide the charity with a new means of collecting the donations that will allow it to continue to preserve Scotland’s unique heritage.’
As a charity, the National Trust for Scotland relies on funds generated through donations and memberships to help care for and protect Scotland’s natural and national treasures for us all to enjoy.