In the spirit of the holiday season, Google has teamed up with Android Pay in a new campaign running until December 31 that will result in millions of dollars being donated by the company toward special education projects. The partnership with nonprofit DonorsChoose.org makes this the first time Google has ever worked with an NGO on a mobile payments campaign.
A few years ago Google.org launched an Android application called One Today that would allow users to donate $1 to various organizations through their mobile phones. While that app is still in existence today, it never reached 100,000 installs, suggesting there was not much consumer interest in mobile apps for charities.
The new effort will see Google making the donations instead of consumers. Each time a purchase is made with Android Pay, Google will donate $1 up to $1 million. That money will go toward offering aid to the 6.4 million students across the country in the education system who have special needs through DonorsChoose.org.
The company added that it would double each donation for Android Pay purchases made on Black Friday.
The company ended its message on its blog with a reminder about why it's important to give back to this specific cause: "Teachers spend nearly $500 out of their own pocket each year to outfit their classrooms with enriching projects and programs. Since each student learns differently, let's support special needs classrooms across the country to make education more inclusive for every kid."
Similar to Apple Pay, Android Pay is set up on newer Android devices running KitKat 4.4 or higher, allowing users to tap to pay. A number of large retailers already accept the payment option including BJs, GameStop, Macy's, Staples, Walgreens, and Whole Foods. Google reports that millions of locations around the world currently support Android Pay.
In order to participate, users need to download the Android Pay app on their mobile phones, and then login and add credit and debit cards. Some loyalty cards are also currently eligible. In order to use the app, the user simply taps to pay at payment terminals and approves the transaction. Those who have a Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X can approve the transaction by using the fingerprint sensor.
Google.org has already set aside $720,000 in donations to support special education projects throughout the country. The company said the new effort is part of a larger philanthropic initiative from Google alongside $20 million in grants from Google.org to help people with disabilities. According to its website, they donate $100 million in grants on an annual basis, writes Rollin Bishop for Tech Times.
Android Pay is the second form of mobile payment the company has tried, the first being Google Wallet. Although the system does not have a large following as of yet, Google said they have a number of plans for it, including additional support for loyalty cards, gift cards, and more. Additional promotions are also in the works, including one from Coca-Cola.