big issue seller contactless

1,000 Big Issue sellers now accept cashless payment

Image credit: big issue

The Big Issue has equipped 1,000 of its sellers with contactless technology and hopes that the remaining 500 will jump on board by the end of the year.

The move is designed to help homeless sellers of the magazine as cash use in the UK falls dramatically. A study from last year found that if the current trend of declining cash usage in the UK continues, the country could become entirely cashless by 2026.

The Big Issue is using contactless technology via the Zettle by PayPal card reader, which enables sellers to accept contactless payments in-person directly on their Android mobile devices, with no additional hardware or fees.

The magazine found that vendors offering cashless payments will sell up to 35 per cent more magazines using the Zettle card reader than a vendor that is only accepting cash, as nearly 70 per cent of debit card transactions and over half (56 per cent) of credit card transactions in the UK are now contactless.

Vendors will be able to accept contactless payment via physical cards and digital wallets on smartphones and connected watches.

The Big Issue has often been quick to jump on technology trends with trials of ‘resellable’ magazines that use QR codes to allow vendors to receive a second sale if it’s passed on to someone else and an augmented-reality version of the magazine that can be accessed via an app.

The Big Issue helped me to set up my bank account and sign up with Zettle by PayPal, and it has definitely helped my sales,” said Dave, who normally sells the magazine on his pitch at Tesco, Brook Green, Hammersmith, and was one of the earliest vendors to go cashless.

“Since the pandemic, most people want to pay by card as people don’t use cash these days, and they are often in a rush.

“So if they can pay by contactless they know it’s going to be quick and it’s going to be secure as well. And for me, Tap to Pay makes the process even simpler as I only need my phone, and that’s great! It’ll be perfect for new sellers too, as they can get out and start selling magazines with contactless as an option really quickly.”

Russell Blackman, managing director of commercial at The Big Issue, said: “This is a significant milestone for The Big Issue Group. We have long-recognised that we are operating in an increasingly cashless society, even more so since the pandemic.

Big Issue vendors are microentrepreneurs, effectively running their own small businesses, so understandably there are many who are keen to offer their customers an alternative to cash. The roll out of the new Tap to Pay feature now lowers the barriers to financial inclusion further, making cashless sales more accessible for more of our vendors.”

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