Visa had a problem in Brazil: Shoppers were making 40% of their purchases – even for high-priced items – with cash. It’s not that they necessarily preferred to drop reals out of any sort of late-fee fear; shopping with the coin of the realm was a long-standing habit and there was no cause for change.

Not, at least, until Visa came up with just that reason: Whenever anyone used its credit cards to facilitate an online payment, one cent would be donated to charity.

There was no requirement to buy anything that the shopper didn’t need. And the consumer didn’t have to think about which worthy cause would be the subject of her generosity. It was a seamless process that tapped into a very basic instinct.

“Everybody wants to do good,” Luciana Resende Lotze, Visa’s regional head/marketing for Latin America and the Caribbean, told delegates at the 2018 Festival of Media Latin America (FOMLA) in Miami.

How many people were how happy? “Over 175,000 people registered, and they made more than ten million transactions,” Lotze said, “all of which resulted in donations directly being sent to partner organizations.”

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