05/09/2012 12:50 pm ET Updated May 09, 2012

ATM Charity Donation Option To Be Added To 12,000 Machines In UK This Summer

Standing at the ATM, the choices are few -- receipt or no receipt, withdrawal or check balance.

But for 12,000 machines in the U.K. there will be one more this summer: Donate or skip donation.

ATMs owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Bank Machine will offer users the option to donate between £1 and £250 (about $400) as a separate menu list, or after they've finished their transaction. So far, Bank Machine said it has applications from 550 charities that are hoping to be an option on that screen, Belfast Telegraph reports.

"This is the single biggest development both for charity and ATM services this millennium," Ron Delnevo, managing director of Bank Machine, told the news source. "It demonstrates the ability of ATMs to do more than simply deliver cash and gives the UK public the easiest method ever created to allow them to donate money to charity."

But the idea isn't exactly new. HSBC ATM users have had the option to donate to charity since 2005, and in 2010 charitable giving through ATM donations was suggested at a governmental consultation -- citing a system first used in 1998 that gave donations options with each customers' withdrawal, BBC reports.

HSBC told the news source that in 2010 £341,623 was donated at its 3,650 locations -- about $550,000.

"By making it possible to add donations at cash points we can make an even greater difference to other people's lives," Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, told BBC.

Giving at the ATM even jumped the pond: In 2011, following the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, Wells Fargo bank set up a donation option at 9,000 ATMs, according to the Star Tribune.

"I think we've demonstrated that ATMs are a tool we can draw upon for fundraising," Jonathan Velline, a Wells Fargo vice president in charge of ATM operations, told the news source. "Our customers have spoken with their wallets."