Why Mobile Payments Will Lead to Positive Change in Corporate Social Responsibility Programs

I am really starting to believe that advances in technology, demographic trends and the ubiquitous nature of mobile computing devices will serve as a disruptive force for positive change in corporate social responsibility programs.

Part three of a series.

Here at Centric, our digital team recently applied mobile payment technologies to engage our 700-plus employees with a shared sense of purpose and values.

Our social purpose was simple: Make it easy for people to make financial donations to charitable organizations in their community using the Apple Pay or Android Pay mobile wallet on their phone. The result: Centric Connect Charitable Giving Mobile App.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Next Wave of Innovation Will Weave Social Purpose into Our Daily Lives

This trend of innovative charitable giving is just starting.

A recent article from Harvard Business Review noted that “innovative payment technologies… are bringing new speed and convenience to charitable giving — enabling people to give back to their communities as easily as they can tap for an Uber ride.”

• According to a 2015 Nielsen Global Sustainability Report, 43% of consumers say that a company’s commitment to social value “very heavily” or “heavily” influenced their purchase decisions
• According to a 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study, 91% of global consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit, but also operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues

Other companies such as PayPal, Amazon and Humble Bundle have incorporated micro-donations and charitable giving as a fundraising service for millions of charities.

This got me thinking about mobile payments as a disruptor for social purpose within “traditional” corporate social responsibility programs. But first:

What is the Social Purpose of your Organization?

For decades, organizations of all sizes have engaged in corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) programs. As a corporate citizen, being socially responsible makes good business sense.

I believe that every organization exists for a social purpose, and this social purpose transcends providing a dividend to shareholders or selling more widgets this year than last year. But it’s tricky to put your finger on what social purpose really means.

For me, an organization’s social purpose is the commitment by which it empowers people – employees, customers and partners – to make a measurable and sustainable difference in the community. Imagine the possibilities if you combine social purpose with innovation.

Innovation in Traditional Corporate Social Responsibility Programs


Let’s start with insurance. If you’re like me, you have a low level of engagement with your insurance company. The only time I interact is when I’m paying my bill or filing a claim. Neither of these are great experiences, but they could be improved. How? By offering me the opportunity to support a charitable organization of my choice as I’m paying my bill with my phone. That would mean abandoning the clunky, 15-year-old insurance portal.


Healthcare is another good example. There are two critical issues in healthcare: increasing patient engagement and improving population health. By utilizing a crowdsourcing approach, healthcare providers and payers can make measurable progress with mobile payments. Maybe doctors can offer patients an option to make an anonymous charitable contribution to support sick patients with financial needs. This is a simple and economical choice for healthcare providers that could drive complementary improvements in revenue cycle.

As corporate social responsibility evolves into a key part of the business model, there’s a unique opportunity for organizations to weave social purpose into our daily lives by using innovative tools and methods.

Want to know more?

If you’re interested in knowing more about mobile payments for corporate social responsibility programs, our Digital team would love to talk with you. Or if you’d like to use the Centric Connect platform as an accelerator for your charitable giving program, drop us a note.

Read the Series