98 Cents: Donate and Send Money to Others, available for Android through the Google Play store, is an interesting take on a charity app.
Many apps offer charity options, and some of the biggest charities in the world have apps that can help you to donate to help with many of the world’s biggest problems.
However, 98 Cents is a little different, as it acts as a go-between for the needy and those who want to donate and help. Think of it as eBay for charity, even if the comparison is a little crude. You are donating to individuals who need financial help.
That can be help with paying the rent after they have lost their job, or helping to pay for some diapers when times are tough. Each person posts a photo, a little description of why they need help, and also how much they need; you can donate from 98 cents up to $9.80 at a time.
The recipient does get all of the money you send, as although there is a small transaction fee to pay on top (30 cents is the lowest fee for a 98 cent donation), the app makes it clear that this is an additional charge.
You can also choose to create your own profile and ask for help if you need it. This is neat, as it means the app is covering both ends of the scale and I am sure it will be a cathartic moment when someone who has received help from this app then goes back to it when things are financially better for them, in order to start to help others.
Now, I know what you are thinking. How can there be a guarantee that there aren’t people on there just making a story up to make a quick buck? Well, while there is no way of knowing for absolutely sure, the app does insist on people using photos of themselves in their listings, and the developers claim that they use some kind of facial recognition technology, which would presumably be used to stop repeat offenders.
I do think that the low sums of money being asked for will put a lot of fraudsters off, as if we were talking about donating thousands then it would be a different story. However, 98 cents? I’m not so sure fraudsters will bother.
The app itself is pretty well designed, and was easy to navigate and create a profile. Donating is easy, with PayPal integration and the nice addition of the ability to leave a comment alongside your donation.
Overall, if you are looking for help, or are alternatively looking for a way to directly help people in need then 98 Cents is a great app to get help to people who need it.