Machine tells donors where their charitable money goes
Sibel Cingi ISTANBUL
Turkish donators throw money into a box at the capital city of Ankara’s Kocatepe Mosque. An ATM-like machine may replace such boxes for collecting donations soon. AA photo
Ankara-based Sera Reklamcılık has developed an ATM-like device for making donations to associations, aid organizations and mosques, claiming the machine will enable better documentation of this large field of economic activity.
The major motivation behind the attempt was public concern about whether donations reach the correct recipients, according to Ahmet Öz, a coordinator at the company.
“The Turkish people are philanthropists. But in recent years everyone has begun to ask themselves if their donations are going to the right places. So we started working on the issue, and [came up with]
a machine totally developed by Turkish engineers, including its software,” Öz said.
Three years of research and development work went into the project, he told daily Radikal.
Directorate of Religious Affairs contacts the firm
Organizations that have contacted the company so far include the Directorate of Religious Affairs. The directorate, which is in ongoing talks with Sera, plans to place the machines at mosques and some other points, Öz said.
The talks with the directorate , aid organizations and other institutions will be finalized in the upcomig days, he added.
Donation boxes placed in mosque courtyards are quite common in Turkey, especially after Friday prayers, and provide significant income for many religious facilities across the country. Sera’s machine may put an end to this practice, offering a sounder method.
The product is registered under the name “Electronic money-box” at the Turkish Patent Institute.
During the development of the teller machine, a former Sera employee stole a trial version of the machine and placed it at Ankara’s Kocatepe Mosque, saying it was his own project.
Some 24,000 Turkish Liras were collected at the court of the mosque in just one day.
Hearing about this, the company removed the machine from the mosque, and has taken legal action against the former employee, Ahmmet Öz said.
The machine accepts both Turkish Lira and foreign banknotes, as well as coins and credit cards. Donors can take a receipt. The machine also identifies fake banknotes.
The software technology utilized in the machines allows aid associations to follow up how much money is deposited in each of the machines that will be set up in the country.