St Martin-in-the-Fields announces card partnership to roundup spending and donate excess to charity

St Martin-in-the-Fields Trust, a charity supporting the work of the iconic central London church including helping women move away from homelessness, is enabling supporters to make charitable donations whilst spending through its partnership with Currensea, which has created a money-saving debit card linked to existing bank accounts.

Customers can now donate to the St Martin’s Trust when spending both at home and abroad. Donations can be made by rounding up spending to the nearest 5p in the UK or from savings made on overseas transactions via Currensea’s card.

As the average person makes 380 debit card transactions per year in the UK*, this new partnership offers the St Martin’s Trust a potential donation of almost £24 per person, including Gift Aid, from roundup spending in the UK alone. 

Abroad, Currensea’s card offers customers savings of at least 85% on overseas transaction fees – customers can then opt to donate all or part of these savings to charity.

This is the latest partnership in Currensea’s unique ‘powered by’ programme, launched in 2021, allows charities to issue branded cards to their supporters so they can roundup UK spending or convert savings made on overseas spending into charity donations. Other partnerships include the Cameron Bespolka Trust, a charity that encourages young people to connect with nature and animals.

St Martin-in-the-Fields Trust works with many of London’s most vulnerable communities and donations from using the Currensea card will be used to support projects including the upkeep of the historic building, community projects such as St Martin’s Voices choir and projects including 18 Keys which aims to improve the lives of women moving away from homelessness.

Typically, homelessness services are more geared to men than women, the 18 Keys project supports homeless women and includes transforming accommodation space and creating safe spaces to house women and support and encourage future independence. More information can be found in notes to editors below.

Currensea allows its users to access the best foreign exchange (FX) rates at only 0% to 0.5% above the FX base rate. With high street banks typically charging 3%-5% per transaction abroad, Currensea saves at least 85% on every transaction abroad by cutting out the normal fees. For example, a user spending $1500 while visiting the USA can choose to contribute 50% of their savings – over £20 – while still saving money on foreign exchange.

The Currensea card uses secure technology called open banking – a secure data-sharing approach between financial institutions to connect directly to someone’s bank account with their approval, allowing travellers to make overseas transactions directly from funds in their current account, whilst avoiding high bank fees, and UK users to use the round-up function.

Katy Shaw, Director of St Martin-in-the-Fields, comments: “This is a great option for our supporters looking for a simple way to donate to the vital causes that St. Martins continues to champion. A 5p donation may not seem like much to many people, but for charities it’s part of an integral contribution that can change lives. Also, rather than wasting money on overseas foreign exchange fees, Currensea’s card is a fantastic option to save money and donate to charity at the same time. It’s a unique way for donors to continue their support whilst saving costs on their travel fees when spending abroad.”

James Lynn, Co-Founder of Currensea, comments: “This is another major announcement after the recent launch of ‘powered-by’. We’re delighted to be partnering with one of London’s most iconic institutions and offering another great option for customers looking for more control over how they spend their money. Rounding up spending is a simple way of giving back to our community, with a small contribution making all the difference.

“Not only can Currensea customers avoid the high foreign exchange they typically face when spending abroad, but they can also now support charitable causes such as St. Martin’s instantly and automatically by donating part of or all these savings directly.

“Travellers finally have an alternative to the financial model that has been in place for far too long, charging sky-high fees to use our own money whilst abroad. Currensea’s card proves that this doesn’t have to be the case and travellers can now spend or donate their hard-earned cash and savings however they wish.”

* Based on figures from UK Finance’s Card Spending Update and ONS.

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