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Salvation Army Begins Accepting Credit Cards At Red Kettles

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
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Salvation Army bell-ringer

Salvation Army bell-ringer. (Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Salvation Army is moving with the times this holiday season, and you might say that in some places, it’s not your father’s Salvation Army.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, this is the 120th year for the Salvation Army’s red kettle donation program, but at a number of locations in Chicago and three other cities, the Salvation Army has become more versatile and can take credit card donations on the street.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Bell-ringers at 12 locations carry smartphones provided by Sprint that come equipped with Square credit card readers.

“The goal of the technology behind the Square reader is simple – make transactions easier, and this year, we plan to make donating to The Salvation Army as easy as possible for our donors,” Salvation Army Major George Hood said in a news release last month.

One location that accepts credit cards is in front of Macy’s on State Street.

The credit card program is also being put into use in New York, Dallas, and San Francisco, where the red kettle program began on the Fisherman’s Wharf in 1891.

The Salvation Army says the new system will not replace the traditional red kettle, but is just giving people another option for donating.

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