LevelUp Is First Mobile Payment App to Let You Give Back While Paying (via Mashable)



Mobile payment app LevelUp helps its users save money through incentives, loyalty programs and special offers. Now, the app has introduced a way for users to share a bit of their savings with their favorite causes.

LevelUp launched Causes on Thursday, becoming the first mobile payment ecosystem to integrate charitable giving. The Causes feature is a simple way to give a portion of your LevelUp rewards to a non-profit of your choice.

“We think there’s a really neat opportunity to redesign payments for the first time in 60 years,” Seth Priebatsch, founder of LevelUp, told Mashable. “The ability to bake in supporting your favorite causes and philanthropic groups into transactions, gives people the oporunity to really do good without having to think to much about it.”

Don’t think this eliminates the savings you’ve come to associate with LevelUp — you get to decide the amount (say 5 or 10%) you giving away with each reward you earn. This means if you earn a $2 reward, you’ll still get $1.90 or $1.80. While this sounds like a very minor donation, LevelUp’s 250,000 active users could make a big impact over time.

Three causes are joining LevelUp for the feature’s launch: JumpStart, Feeding America and the Massachusetts Democratic Committee. Priebatsch is hoping many more will be included soon.

To use Causes, head into the app’s settings, and select a cause and a percent you’d like to donate from each reward. After you donate each time, you’ll receive an email receipt, which you can use for your tax returns, assuming you’ve selected a registered 501(c)3.

Levelup is currently the second largest mobile payment ecosystem, used by 3,500 merchants.

Does this new model for charitable giving through a mobile payments app sound like a sustainable model? Let us know if you would select to donate to Causes while using LevelUp.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Uros78

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