An ingenious new jacket lets you give money to the homeless via contactless

Our increasingly cash-free culture is a devastating phenomenon for homeless people. The homeless are seeing a sharp decrease in donations purely because people are much less likely to carry cash on them – but one Dutch company has come up with a simple way to combat this.

Amsterdam-based ad agency N=5 have developed a contactless payment jacket – not only does the coat keep the wearer warm, but it also allows people to tap their cards and donate money to its wearer. It’s even easier than digging through your pockets for some coins.

N=5 – N=5 updated their profile picture. | Facebook

There are a few contingencies on the jacket: there is a one euro limit to donations, and money can only be used at an official homeless shelter (which offers a place to sleep, showers, food and training). This is designed to reassure people who want to help the homeless, but are concerned that their money is going towards vices like drugs or alcohol.

The coat is called the “Helping Heart” and looks like your average winter jacket, except for a patch on the front where people can tap their cards.

(Jonathan Brady/PA)

The jacket is only in prototype phase at the moment, and the company has reported positive feedback from those who have tried it in the homeless community.

So all in all, it’s a pretty neat solution to the homeless problem: this way, it will be so much easier to donate money to those in need, and you’ll know exactly where your money is going.

More in this Section

Better systems can aid business of giving money to tackle poverty

Pound recovers losses after UK's crunch Brexit vote

Ireland under fresh attack from EU on corporation tax

Datalex shares tank by nearly 60% as losses loom


Read an excerpt of 'My Coney Island Baby' below

Bernard O'Shea on hitting the road with old pal Karl Spain

Learning Points: My wife is having a baby and I’m stressed at work

Your guide to luxury - but affordable - spa experiences

More From The Irish Examiner