At Centric Consulting, one of our core values is “Igniting Passion for the Greater Good.” We embrace our community citizenship responsibilities by actively seeking innovative ways to use our talents and give back to our communities.

Part five of a series.

Our mobile service offering team had this innovative approach: allow our employees to give back providing a donation feature within our company’s Android application, Centric Connect. We affectionately called it: the Charitable Giving Platform.

Like any other mobile project, thought turned to the choice language and tools that would serve as the foundation of the application and provide opportunities for future growth and enhancements.

XamarinIn this case, Xamarin, a mobile development platform for native iOS and Android apps, was the obvious choice because:

  1. This was a line-of-business app.
  2. Ability to re-use business logic for other platforms down the road was a key need.
  3. It allowed us to write a native mobile platform, while still providing for code reuse.
  4. Cordova based options were also considered but C# as the language of choice tipped the scales.

But our work wasn’t done. We still needed to figure out what tools to use to facilitate donations on Android devices.

Choosing Tools for the Charitable Giving Platform on Androids

Our goal: to create a simple, fast, secure way for our employees to donate to a charity of their choice using their Android smartphone. So, given that Android Pay is increasingly being used to make payments and simplify the process of paying for things online or via apps, this seemed like the best choice. Our thought process: “If it’s easier to donate, more people will donate.”

Our last step was to integrate a third party to process payments for our Charitable Giving Platform. We settled on Stripe because in combination with Android Pay it provided a completely anonymous way to process transactions directly to charities in a secure manner.

We used the Stripe Component provided by Xamarin and the Google Play Services Component provided by Xamarin.  Although, these APIs were provided, there was a significant learning curve from a data and user interface flow within the application.

We learned that Google has a separate vetting team for validating the use of their Google Play Services API prior to submitting the application to the Play Store. But in the end, it all worked out.

Here’s How the Digital Payments Process Works on the App

We launched the new program at our Summer Meeting in August. Here’s how it works: Employees can select from a vetted list of charities on the app. They can also select a quick amount or enter a custom amount, and tap the Donate with Android Pay button. A confirmation screen pops up, allowing them to cancel the transaction or confirm to process the transaction.

Once the transaction is complete, the user will receive a receipt via email for their records. The donation is transferred directly to the charity – and Centric does not receive a dime. Stripe does charge a small processing fee for the donation, but the balance goes directly to the charity.

Our hope with this new feature on our Centric Connect app is simple: Make it easier for employees to give back to their communities. As a bonus, Centric leaders have agreed to match employee donations for the first 30 days. This serves as another example of how using new technologies such as digital payments can benefit the Greater Good.

Read the Series