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Online Charity Donors Need a Way to Rectify Errors

In one case, a Hubei woman accidentally donated her entire life savings of 120,000 yuan to a charity when she intended to give 1,200 yuan

By Zhang Qingchen Updated Feb.9

Internet payment systems are convenient – but they're so easy to use that payers can input wildly incorrect sums of money in their transactions. Following several high-profile cases of mammoth accidental charity donations by everyday people, an opinion piece in the China Youth Daily argues online platforms should incorporate human-centered design to guarantee the security of donations if netizens make mistakes. 

According to the news portal The Paper, an unidentified housewife in Wuhan, Hubei Province, accidentally donated all of her savings – some 120,000 yuan (US$18,988) – to a charity project when she had intended to give 1,200 yuan (US$189.88). She thankfully managed to recover the money, according to the report. 

Writing for China Youth Daily, Zhu Changjun blamed the simple payment model – pointing out that in many instances transfers do not even require a password to go through. Zhu called for online charity platforms to establish a means of preventing or undoing errors. 

Zhu said there should be a maximum donation amount below which donors were not required to enter the password. Higher donations should require passwords or another means of verification, Zhu said.