Mobio empowers iPhone Telethon donations in Ottawa

Every year, millions of North American callers jam phone lines of telethon switchboards to contribute to worthy causes. Some enjoy the personal interaction over the phone, but most of us – especially younger generations – would rather not wait on the line.

With this in mind, the upcoming University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s annual telethon on Sunday, March 28th on CTV is offering its viewers the opportunity to donate using their iPhone and a mobile barcode payment system developed by Vancouver’s Mobio Identity Systems.

For the first time in history, viewers will be able to make a real-time donation right off of the TV screen using Mobio. During the 10-hour telethon, a customized Mobio barcode will be displayed on screen to allow iPhone users to scan and donate instantly.

A telethon viewer points their iPhone at the Mobio barcode on the TV screen to activate the system, they enter the payment amount on their screen, press a button and that’s it. The donation is processed and confirmation receipt is emailed instantly back to the viewer.

If donors are unable to watch the telethon, they can visit the Ottawa Hearts or Mobio website and scan the barcode anytime. In addition, barcodes will be distributed in local publications as well as over Twitter, Facebook and email for “anytime” donations before, during and after the event. As an example of the technology, Mobio has provided us with a customized barcode (right) that will allow Techvibes readers to instantly donate to Ottawa Hearts.

It’s great to see a little innovation injected into the traditional telethon space as a way to engage younger audiences and appeal to Gen X and Y.