UNICEF Germany is funneling your IOUs to children around the world with its new app, Repay for Good. The app, available from the Apple AppStore (in German for now), allows users to enter any amount of money, select a UNICEF project recipient, and send off an email to your friends and family requesting a small donation and clear any outstanding debts. The transaction is handled through a credit card or PayPal.
UNICEF is one of many NGOs turning to apps as a potential source of donations. But expanding this source of revenue is a problem as long as Apple stands firm in its transaction policies. The same silky smooth purchasing system making Apple products so easy to buy (one click and you’re done, minus 30% share for Apple, of course) isn’t available to nonprofits for donations.
Charities must redirect users to websites and third-party platforms such as PayPal, likely losing many potential supporters in the process. Workarounds such as PayPal’s app and the Flattr app have been quashed by Apple for skirting the policy, reports Wired and the New York Times.
For now, a personal request to retire small debts and fund an outsize cause may be impetus enough figures UNICEF: “many small donations [can] tackle a big job to help the children of this world.”