A QR code may change the way we donate money to the homeless

greater change app news

To solve a problem created by us having less cash in our pockets and relying increasingly on cards and mobile payment systems, entrepreneur Alex McCallion has created Greater Change — a smartphone-driven platform where a QR code is scanned to donate money to homeless people. Initially launched on a local crowdfunding platform in late 2017, Greater Change is a fascinating project that uses modern mobile payment technology for good.

The way it works is simple. As a donator you have the Greater Change app on your phone, which then uses the camera to scan a QR code, where the donation is then made. The difference is the app also provides information on what the money is going toward, because the person you give the money to will be registered with local charities and will already have worked out a plan for their future. The money is not handled directly, and it’s clear to the donator how the funds will be used, and what the targets are.

For the homeless person, it’s a way to show they are committed to change, and it relieves the wariness of the public, who are unwilling to give money to professional beggars, or to feed addictions. The platform also works as a way to tell their story and humanize their situation. The QR code can be worn like an ID on a lanyard, placed on a sign, or on a card. Greater Change is also investigating contactless payments, and donations can also be made through the website.

McCallion, a graduate of Oxford University, wrote his thesis on how technology had not enriched the charitable world in the same way it has in the public and private sector. In a blog post written at the time of the crowdfunding, he said, “I decided that the solution had to be a way to give without carrying cash, combined with a method for empowering the homeless to show that they would be spending money on constructive solutions.”

QR codes are a convenient, easy-to-use, and familiar way to enable this. We already use them for mobile boarding passes at the airport, and for many other mobile tickets. Additionally, they are used to exchange contacts in apps such as Snapchat, Line, and WeChat, along with other mobile payment systems including Walmart’s own payment app. We’ve even seen them used to find pets, and on tech-laden bags.

In a BBC film on Greater Change, it’s shown that some people are not comfortable with the concept of treating homeless people the way scanned goods are treated at the grocery store; but for the homeless who are trying to change their lives, the scheme is seemingly welcomed. The Greater Change app is now being tested in the U.K. city of Oxford.


The browser-based Monero miner Coinhive generates around $250,000 each month

Despite a fall in cryptocurrency mining, the Coinhive Monero miner is still highly active, generating around $250,000 each month. Coinhive also contributes 1.18 percent of the total mining power behind the Monero blockchain.

Apple releases sixth public beta of iOS 12, sans Group FaceTime

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, each suited for a different occasion.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts.

T-Mobile partners with Live Nation, Pandora to offer customers more perks

T-Mobile made a few other announcements today: Not only has the carrier partnered up with Live Nation to provide offers, but customers will also be getting a free year of Pandora Plus.

This is how Google will improve the quality of Wear OS apps

Google wants to improve the quality of Wear OS apps, and to that end the company has announced that the review process of Wear OS apps for Google Play is now mandatory. Criteria for Wear OS apps include that they work as expected.

Is Google launching an A.I. fitness coach for smartwatches?

Google is reportedly working on a health and well-being coach for Wear OS devices. Known as "Google Coach," the assistant will be able to suggest workouts, meal plans, and more, based on a user's activity.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.

The Beats Solo3 wireless headphones are on sale from Walmart for $150 off

If you've been eyeballing a pair of Beats headphones and trying to sniff out a deal, then you're in luck. Walmart just slashed the price of the Beats Solo3 wireless headphones to just $150, bringing it down to about half of its retail cost.

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.

Lifeguards in Germany link child drownings to smartphone-distracted parents

Too many parents are fixated on their smartphones instead of monitoring their children in the water when visiting the beach or lake, putting their safety at risk. At least, that's the claim of lifeguard organizations in Germany.

What do golden retrievers and Samsung Note 9 owners have in common? Loyalty

Samsung has introduced the Galaxy Note 9, but rumors have spread it may be the last of its kind due to its similarity with the Galaxy S9 Plus. We spoke to Samsung about the productivity device's future.

Master your Sony Xperia XZ2 with these handy tips and tricks

While new Samsung and Apple phones get the lion's share of attention, Sony released three new flagships, the Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Premium, and the XZ2 Compact. Here are some of our favorite Sony Xperia XZ2 tips and tricks.