Frequently asked questions
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What is Ripples?
The Ripples app is a new way to donate to charities, schools and other good causes. It allows you to automatically donate pennies as you spend.
Ripples rounds up all of your card payments to a whole number and donates the pennies to a good cause that you choose.
You can choose to round up your card payments to the nearest 10p, 50p or £1.00.
We also report back on how your donations are being spent so that you can track just how amazing the impact of your pennies are!
How does Ripples work?
Ripples works by linking to your bank account or credit card, reading what you’ve spent and debiting penny donations accordingly.
Which transactions are rounded up?
We round up most of your outgoing payments.
Payments we round up include:
- Point of sale card payments e.g. Contactless or Chip & Pin payments in a shop
- Online card payments e.g. online shopping
We do not currently round up things like:
- Bill payments e.g. direct debits and standing orders (Although, it is possible! Should we include bill payments? - let us know)
- Bank transfers to anyone
If you have a query about a particular transaction, please contact us with as much detail about the transaction as possible.
When and how are Ripples donations calculated and debited?
Ripples donations are usually calculated and debited as soon as we receive the transaction data from your bank. This is usually within 24 hours of the payment being made but it can vary, especially on weekends.
Here are some examples of Ripples calculations
If you set your round ups to 10p, your round ups for a day might look like this:
- £5.00 spend = 0p donation (it’s already a whole 10p)
- £2.30 spend = 0p donation (it’s already a whole 10p)
- £10.96 spend = 4p donation
- £3.14 spend = 6p donation
If you set your round ups to 50p, your round ups for a day might look like this:
- £20.00 spend = 0p donation (it’s already a whole 50p)
- £3.50 spend = 0p donation (it’s already a whole 50p)
- £6.05 spend = 45p donation
- £18.71 spend = 29p donation
If you set your round ups to £1.00, your round ups for a day might look like this:
- £7.00 spend = 0p donation (it's already a whole £1.00)
- £10.99 spend = 1p donation
- £2.50 spend = 50p donation
- £3.14 spend = 86p donation
Where can I find my Ripples member number?
You can view your unique Ripples member number in your profile area. Numbers are assigned chronologically, so you can see how early you joined our community.
What is Gift Aid and how does it work?
Gift Aid is a UK tax incentive that allows tax-effective giving to charities. In short, charitable donations are tax-deductible. So, if you have previously paid tax on the money you are donating, the charity are entitled to reclaim that tax from the government and “top up” your donation with it. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Through Gift Aid, charities can reclaim 25p in tax for every £1 you donate. In order for your chosen charity to benefit from Gift Aid, you must complete a very short Gift Aid declaration form in which you confirm that your are a UK tax payer and that you have personally paid tax on the money you are donating.
Your Gift Aid declaration will cover all future donations with Ripples and you should tell us if your status has changed and you need to opt out of Gift Aid.
More information on Gift Aid can be found on the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/donating-to-charity/gift-aid
What is the donation pot and why do you charge me when it reaches £5 instead of straight away?
As you spend with your linked account, the Ripples app will calculate your donations and put them into a virtual donation pot. You can think of this as pledging pennies to a digital piggy bank as you spend. Then, when the donation pot reaches £5, a £5 payment will be triggered and sent to your chosen cause.
We do this - instead of debiting pennies as you spend - because of transaction costs. In short, our payment processor, Stripe, charges 1.2% of the transaction value + a flat 20p fee for every payment. The flat 20p fee means that it would be impossible to debit your donations for tiny amounts because your cause would lose money!
In truth, we would rather debit actual pennies as you spend and scrap the donation pot, it’s just not possible…. yet. Watch this space 👀
Banks, cards and your data
What banking data does Ripples receive?
With your permission the Ripples app can access the same information that you would see on your online bank statement, such as transaction dates, transaction amounts, account balance, account number and sort code.
Ripples will ignore most account details and only ever use your transaction data to calculate how much to round up for your given project you wish to support.
What is Open Banking?
Short Answer: Open Banking is a series of laws which allows you to share financial data with authorised third-party services, like Ripples, in a safe and secure way. The laws were passed to stimulate competition and innovation in financial services and provide people with better products to manage their money.
Long Answer: Open Banking refers to a series of laws passed by the European Union. They are known as ‘The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2)’ and mean that all UK-regulated banks must allow you to share financial data (basically your bank, credit card or savings statements) with authorised third party services providers, like Ripples.
The idea is to bring more competition and innovation to financial services, which will lead to better products to help you manage your money.
It’s important to note that you must give permission for your bank to share this data. Effectively you have to say “Hi bank, please let this service see my financial data”.
We would recommend <a href="https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/open-banking/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this read</a> on Money Saving Expert which explains Open Banking in more detail. There is also a lot of useful information at the <a href="https://www.openbanking.org.uk/customers/what-is-open-banking/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Open Banking website</a>.
Ripples can access this information in a READ-ONLY format. This means that our app can only view the transaction data. It cannot move money or make any other actions on your account through Open Banking.
What banks or credit cards are supported?
Ripples donations are available for all major banks and credit card issuers through our trusted Open Banking connection partner, Salt Edge. You can view the full list of supported financial institutions <a href="https://www.saltedge.com/products/spectre/countries/gb?channel%5B%5D=open_banking" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>. There are over 200 institutions available in the UK alone.
What is Salt Edge?
<a href="https://www.saltedge.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Salt Edge</a> is an industry-leading financial technology company that facilitates the connection between your bank or credit card and our app, via Open Banking. This connection is necessary for us to calculate your round ups. Salt Edge are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (#822499) and you can read more about our relationship in our terms and conditions.
Why is there a 5 percent transaction cost and where does it go?
Unfortunately, it costs money to safely move and manage money. It also costs money to sustain an app!
Here's what happens with the 5% transaction cost:
Ripples are debited when your donation pot reaches £5.00.
5% of £5.00 is 25p and, currently, this goes straight to our payment processor, Stripe.
Actually, Stripe charge 1.2% + 20p for payments. This works out at 26p for every £5.00 donation. So, we subsidise payment processing fees by 1p on every £5.00 donation.
We do this because we’re determined to keep transaction costs to 5% or less. We also do not charge charities or schools any other fees. It’s only right.
What sort of organisation is Ripples?
Roundups Fundraising Services Ltd is a normal private company with shareholders.
However, we are also a genuine social enterprise / Tech for Good / Profit for Purpose organisation. This means that our social purpose is always the priority.
Don’t believe us? <a href="https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/11639162" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Read our Articles of Association on the Companies House website</a>. In this legally binding document, we have committed to never prioritising shareholder interests over our social purpose.
Why are you not a charity?
Short Answer: We believe that the overall good we can do as a private company outweighs the overall good we could do as a charity.
Long Answer: When we originally started Ripples, we envisaged registering it as a charity.
We soon realised, however, that if Ripples was going to have the wonderful impact that we believe it can, then we need it to reach a very large number of people.
Bringing any movement to a large number of people requires a huge amount of work, effort and, fundamentally, money.
Being a private company allows us to raise finance from socially responsible investors which, in turn, will help the Ripples movement grow.
In short, we believe that being a private company allows us to have more impact, overall, than being a registered charity would.
What are your plans for Ripples? How do you intend to grow?
We talk a lot about our journey as a startup over in our blog. Check it out.