Japan is not alone as it faces the aftermath of an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that hit its shores March 11.
For many Americans, though a world away from the tragedy, doing their small part to help out is as simple as sending a text message. Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, The American Red Cross text to donate campaign has been a popular means for the organization to raise small donations from a large volume of people. Sending $10 to Red Cross — billed through the mobile carrier — is as easy as texting REDCROSS to 90999 (message and data rates may apply).
While none of this relates directly to banking technology, it demonstrates the power of simplicity in mobile transactions, and shows that people aren't so hesitant to use their mobile device to spend money when it's for the right reason.
A spokeswoman for mGive, the Colorado company powering the American Red Cross' campaign, couldn't share the number of donations made by mobile phone to the Red Cross (SMS accounted for some $32 million in donations in the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake). But she did have a few thoughts as to why text-message donations were so effective:
People want to help out in a time of crisis. But the sheer volume of people using the technology — in the millions after Haiti, with millions more likely joining in for Japan — show that, when made simple, mobile money is something people in America might be willing to adopt.