A Better Way to Raise Money at the Register

With a new dog in the house, I've been shopping for a few items at my local Petco, which is just a couple miles from where I live. After I swiped my credit card in the terminal, I got the below message from the Petco Foundation.

Now, I've seen many requests for a donation on credit card terminals, but I haven't seen one yet that makes me choose YES or NO like this one does.


The ask is very clear and you have to choose a response to continue with checkout.

I love the idea of using credit card terminals to process donations. I hate all the clutter and paper waste from pinups. But there's one problem. The credit card terminal gives the cashier a reason NOT to ask the shopper to donate. They figure the terminal will do the work. But it doesn't. Without a direct ask, the shopper can quickly bypass the donation request and move on with their transaction.

But at Petco the first thing they ask you after you swipe your card is if you want to give. They force you to choose, which makes it more difficult to say no. Maybe that's why the Petco Foundation gave away $15 million last year.

Whether it's a pinup or a credit card machine, the bottom-line is that the best register programs involve an ask from the cashier. It's harder to say no to a human being. It's easier to say no to a screen, but at least this screen makes you say it to its face.

What do you think about requests for donations on a credit card terminal? Yes or no?