Google Assistant now lets you donate to charity with a few spoken commands

One way to kick off 2019 on a positive note is by donating to a charity of your choice. And one way to do it is with Google Assistant.

That’s right, folks, if tapping your way through a charity’s website or writing out a check has ever felt like too much effort, then there’s really no excuse anymore as Google Assistant now lets you do the good deed via voice.

Google quietly rolled out the feature as part of an update in early December that makes it easier to make a charitable donation through the Play Store. Spotted by 9to5Google, voice-controlled donations can be completed in no time at all using Google’s smart assistant on any of your digital devices, including smartphones running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later, smart displays, and Google Home smart speakers.

To begin the process, first make sure you have already enabled Google Assistant Payments, which lets you make all kinds of purchases and reservations via voice.

After that, it’s simply a case of calling out, “Hey Google, donate to charity,” or “OK Google, make a donation.” It will even accept an instruction that includes a specific amount, such as, “OK Google, donate $10 to charity,” although this can also be sorted out later.

Once it has processed your initial command, Google Assistant will ask you to name (if you haven’t already done so) the organization to which you’d like to donate. Then you’ll be prompted to confirm the details, and that’s it — job done.

The ability to make charitable donations using Google Assistant follows Amazon’s launch of the same feature for Alexa in the spring of 2017.

Pretty much identical to how Google’s donation process works, you just need to tell Amazon’s digital assistant to send a specified amount of money to the non-profit of your choice.

You’ll go through a couple of exchanges with Alexa to confirm your action, culminating in the money being taken from your linked account. Finally, you’ll receive an email from Amazon that provides a record of your donation.

Alexa Donations can handle any sum between $5 and $5,000. The feature launched with support for 50 charities, among them the American Childhood Cancer Organization, the American Heart Association, and the World Wildlife Fund. Many more have since been added.

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