“Donation Coupon” Payment Process


When designing Controlley’s “Donation Coupon” feature, we explored various options in relation to the amount of choice we wanted to give to buyers or sellers, as well as the simplicity of the payment process.


Here’s a brief summary of our approach:



A seller sends a “Donation Coupon” to a customer-buyer.

The buyer decides to support a cause organized by X organization.

The seller pays the donation amount to this X organization selected by the buyer.

PROBLEM: If seller sends out many donation coupons (which is the case with most sellers), this might mean that the seller will need to make a potentially large number of payments to many different beneficiaries. That means more time and effort from the seller and potentially even higher transaction fees. In addition, sellers don’t get to have a say where their donations will go.


To avoid the alternative option of limiting the number of choices a buyer would be given to select from, we opted for the model described below:



Multiple sellers send out donation coupons to their customers, who then choose what causes they wish to support.

Validated coupons from buyers of all sellers determine how much in total each cause (i.e. Social Project) will receive.

Sellers are asked to pay their due donation amounts (the total value of all donation coupons each seller has sent) by making payment donations to a cause of their choice, to fulfill the total amounts allocated to each cause by all buyers.

This allows buyers maximum choice and also gives sellers flexibility to make small number of payments to causes of their choice.


An Example:

Andreas sends 100 donation coupons worth 2 euros each to his customers, for a total of 200 euros.
His customers validate the coupons and support 14 different projects.
During the coupon payment process, Andreas is sent to a page where he can see how all customers from all sellers have validated their coupons to support which projects and how much.
He will be asked to make a payment of 200 euros to a cause of his choice, from a list that shows the total unpaid donation coupon amounts each Social Project has up to that moment.
If a Social Project has a total of 251 euro of unpaid validated coupons, he can choose to pay the 200 euro to this project and get done.
If needed or desired, he could also make two payments to two different projects and so on.


The idea is to both allow the seller to make a choice of who to make the donation payment to, and limit the number of payments he or she has to make.