The Salvation Army sign(l), Donation sign(r)

Jevanto Productions/Shutterstock @msparkman829/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Not even a dollar option?’: Salvation Army now takes Apple Pay with only $5, $10, and $20 donation options for customers who don’t carry cash, angering viewers

'I remember asking my mom for her spare change to give to Santa lol not no $5.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Nov 28, 2023   Updated on Nov 28, 2023, 10:13 am CST

TikToker MsParkman (@msparkman829) highlighted a significant shift in charitable giving with her video showcasing the Salvation Army’s new digital donation kiosk. Her clip has garnered over 1.4 million views as of Tuesday morning.

The video presents a modern alternative to the traditional bell-ringing volunteers outside stores like Walmart. Instead of dropping coins into a kettle, donors can now simply tap their card at a digital kiosk. But there’s one problem, the only options are $5, $10, and $20.

“You ain’t got cash?!? Tap that card,” she wrote in the caption.

While the digital shift is innovative, it has sparked strong reactions among TikTok users, particularly regarding said preset donation amounts. One top commenter pointed out the lack of smaller donation options, asking, “Not even a dollar option?” With many folks in a precarious position finding themselves living paycheck to paycheck, a $5 donation certainly isn’t nothing.

One nostalgic comment reminisced about simpler times: “I remember asking my mom for her spare change to give to Santa lol not no $5.” This sentiment reflects a longing for the personal human touch and accessibility of traditional donation methods.

Another commenter took aim at America’s increasing in-your-face tipping culture. “Do the tipping options pop up after the donation?” they jokingly asked.

The Salvation Army, a well-known Christian denominational church and international charitable organization, has been serving communities since 1865. Its transition to digital donation methods is part of a broader trend across various sectors.

@msparkman829 You aint got cash?!? Tap that card 👏🏾 #tistheseason #givingheart #salvationarmy #taptap ♬ original sound – MsParkman ♍️

Digital interfaces are becoming increasingly prevalent in various sectors, including retail. Many stores now offer self-service kiosks, enabling customers to scan and bag their items themselves, streamlining the checkout process. However, self-checkout kiosk favorability hit a new low this year despite the machines’ increasing prevalence. 

Additionally, the adoption of contactless payment methods, such as NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless credit/debit cards, has made transactions quicker and reduced the need for physical interaction with cashiers or payment terminals. This shift towards digital solutions reflects a broader trend towards convenience in consumer experiences.

The Daily Dot has reached out to the Salvation Army and MsParkman via TikTok comment for further information. 

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*First Published: Nov 28, 2023, 11:00 am CST