Salvation Army in Chicago considers cashless kettles

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Salvation Army in Chicago could look into accepting credit or debit cards next year, as it continues to look for ways to go cashless.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the local Salvation Army's iconic red kettles bring in millions of dollars in donations each year during its holiday fundraising campaign, despite being reliant on cash.

However, the organization is working to find an updated kettle that makes helping others more convenient. The nonprofit says it's tested several "cashless" kettle versions. But transactions the old-school kettles successfully encourage through fast and anonymous donations are tough to replicate with non-cash payments.

The red kettle donations were established in 1891 when a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco collected donations to provide free Christmas dinners to locals in need.