Zonal turns pennies into £400,000 with digital charity box partnership

Hospitality tech innovator, Zonal, has unlocked £400,000 for its customers’ charities thanks to its partnership with digital charity box, Pennies.

Zonal’s integration with Pennies has enabled customers ETM Group, Fuller’s, Greene King and The Stable, to raise additional sums for their chosen causes including Maggie’s, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, Dorset Mind, Childhood Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Zonal’s chief executive, Stuart McLean, said: “This is an anniversary year for Zonal as we celebrate 40 years in business, so it’s wonderful to be celebrating another milestone where all these charities have been able to benefit from our integration with Pennies.

“Being part of the hospitality sector, we fully appreciate how charity fundraising sits at its very heart, so for Zonal it makes sense perfect sense to offer Pennies technology as part of our solution.”

Pennies’ digital charity box offers a multi-sector and omni-channel option for businesses to collect consumer donations when paying by card or digital wallet. Customers are prompted to round-up or top-up on a purchase via the card terminal screen – with a simple ‘yes or no’ option, and can donate entirely anonymously. The digital charity box is now present in over 7,000 shopfronts as well as on many mobile commerce and online platforms.

Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO of Pennies said: “Last month, the Charities Aid Foundation reported that fewer people are giving directly to charity, but we wonder to what extent the charity sector is perhaps not responding fast enough to changing consumer habits and use of technology. We are finding that the generosity of the UK public continues to exceed our expectations – particularly in hospitality – thanks to partners like Zonal. And this is great news at a time we know is very challenging for the high street and challenging for charities.”

Recent research commissioned by Pennies revealed over a third of the UK public said they leave the house “frequently” with no cash on them, yet the propensity to give remains high. 87% of the public said they give to charity, but as we edge further into a ‘less cash’ society these opportunities need to include digital.

In just ten years, Pennies has raised over £18M for over 400 UK charities – across payment partners including Zonal – and was highlighted in Harrington Starr’s Financial Technologist ‘175 global fintech influencers’ in 2019. Pennies was the only charity to make the list.


Notes to editors

About Zonal:

Zonal is the leading provider of integrated hospitality management solutions to over 16,000 leisure and hospitality businesses across the UK.  For 40 years the company has been working closely with clients to enhance the customer experience through market leading technology, experienced people and a partnership approach to business.

About Pennies:

  • Pennies is a fintech charity (registered no. 1122489) launched in November 2010. It is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, designed to fit with our increasingly cashless lifestyles. Anyone can ‘feel-good’ give with participating Pennies retailers – by donating a few pence to charity when paying by card or digital wallet. It’s as simple as a single press of a button or click of a mouse.
  • Pennies has enabled an incredible 70 million small change digital donations to date through its digital charity box, raising £18 million in extra income for more than 400 charities, and growing.
  • Pennies estimates that if the UK’s card holders donated 30p once a month over £190M would be raised for charity every year.
  • Pennies is live across a breadth of 60+ retail, hospitality and service sector leaders across the UK, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, including Domino’s, Boots Opticians, Oasis Fashion, Screwfix, Hobbycraft, Topps Tiles, Virgin Holidays, Zizzi, The Entertainer, and Rontec and MFL roadside retail outlets.

Fuller, Smith and Turner P.L.C. is a premium pub and hotel company. The Company runs 180 Tenanted pubs and 204 Managed Pubs and Hotels, with a focus on delicious fresh, home-cooked food, outstanding cask and craft ale, great wine and exceptional service. The Company also has 817 boutique bedrooms in its Managed estate. The Fuller’s pub estate stretches from Brighton to Birmingham and from Bristol to the Greenwich Peninsula, including 173 locations within the M25. In June 2018 Fuller’s acquired Bel & The Dragon, comprising six stunning country inns (included in the pub numbers above), and the Company also owns The Stable, a craft cider and gourmet pizza restaurant business, which has 17 sites in England and Wales. In April 2019, Fuller’s sold its brewing division to Asahi Europe Ltd.

Greene King is the country’s leading pub retailer and brewer, running over 2,900 pubs, restaurants and hotels in towns, villages and city-centre high streets across England, Wales and Scotland. With a rich heritage of over 200 years, we brew award-winning beers and operate managed, tenanted, leased and franchised pubs from our headquarters in Bury St. Edmunds.

ETM is a collection of exceptional bars, pubs and restaurants across London. ETM takes pride in its ingredients provenance and, providing the best food, drink and service at our stylish destination locations.


Drake & Morgan was founded in South London in 2008. We wanted to create a unique space where locals and visitors alike could enjoy thoughtful, inspired menus and innovative, crafted cocktails in the most welcoming environment. An escape from the everyday. It all started with The Refinery Bankside a little over 10 years ago and since then we haven’t stopped growing, learning and creating.