Donate to a Cause When You Pay with Your Smartphone

Massachusetts-based SCVNGR said last week that its mobile payment service, LevelUp, will allow users to donate their loyalty credits to one of five charities. Loyalty credits are what you earn when you use Levelup at a participating business. For example, if you spend $40 at a restaurant and use LevelUp to pay you could earn a $5 credit for your next visit. Now, you can use part or all of that credit to support a cause.

I've written about LevelUp before. I'm rooting for the home team, but with Square (which recently inked a partnership with Starbucks), Paypal and others competing in the same space, I'm unsure who will be the winner in the mobile payment wars. Still, LevelUp's efforts to connect cash with cause demonstrate how seamlessly charity will fit in the coming mobile wallet.

Here's how you can donate to a cause on LevelUp.

After you you open the LevelUp app, you click on settings.

After you click on Donate to a Cause When You Save, you'll choose a cause to support.

The final step is to select the percentage of your loyalty credit that you want to donate.

Now, each time I use LevelUp and earn loyalty credits 25 percent will go to Feeding America.

What do you think of LevelUp's new feature? While connecting payment vehicles - such as credit cards - to giving isn't a new idea, tying it in with a mobile payment system makes it easier than ever to give to a cause on what will one day the primary way shoppers pay for purchases.