One of the UK’s biggest cancer charities, Cancer Research UK, has launched a range of public benches capable of taking contactless donations. 

The launch of the benches is in line with this year’s World Cancer Day, allowing people to donate £2 to cancer research through a simple tap of their bank card on a contactless scanner.

Created by Strawberry Energy, developer of solar-powered street furniture for ‘smart cities’, and MKTG, a global creative agency, the benches are the first of their kind in the UK and feature free wi-fi access, mobile charging ports and air quality sensors which feeds environmental data back to local boroughs.

“Having used contactless technology in innovative ways in the past to engage the public in the work we do, we are always looking for new opportunities to incorporate contactless technology further throughout the charity and make it even easier for our supporters to help us beat cancer sooner,” said Michael Docherty, director of digital at Cancer Research UK.

“These Smart Benches seemed like the next step in our use of contactless technology to bring charitable giving closer to our supporters, integrating it seamlessly into cutting-edge street furniture.”

Initially, 10 benches will be trialled in both Islington and Lewisham, after which the partnership plans to install another 10 by the end of February and a further 80 by the end of the year.