Credit where debits are due

While your article about giving to charity (MW June 28) raises concerns about the problem of encouraging young people to regularly donate money to charity, the statement by Paul Seligman, managing director of 141, that “young people don’t necessarily have bank accounts, and they are generally quite scared of direct debits,” is misleading.

Independent research results from the Consumer Payments Survey 2000, undertaken by Ipsos-RSL, found that, when asked, only seven per cent of 16to 24-year-olds disagreed with the statement “direct debits are a safe and reliable payment system”. Furthermore, the survey shows that a third of all regular charity donations from 16to 24-year-olds are made by direct debit.

Research from the Long Term Tracking Study conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres shows that 62 per cent of 17 to 24 year-olds have at least one direct debit, and most have four or more. It also shows that only 13 per cent of 17to 24-year-olds cannot use direct debit because they have no suitable bank account.

This hardly corresponds with Mr Seligman’s view that young people are “scared of direct debits”. On the contrary, direct debits are recognised to be easy, convenient and safe.

Fergus Rose

Head of marketing

BACS

Edgware

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