Big Issue sellers start accepting contactless payments

Big Issue sellers going contactless
Big Issue sellers are keeping up with an increasingly cashless society (Picture: Big Issue)

People who sell the Big Issue are ‘ready for a cashless future’ thanks to new contactless payment scheme.

The magazine, sold by people to lift themselves out of poverty, launched the initiative in response to more and more customers not carrying cash on them.

A trial scheme carried out in five cities revealed 80 per cent of sales were paid for by card.

Big Issue managing director Russell Blackman said the scheme would help improve ‘financial inclusion’ for sellers, who ‘often live lives that are blighted by poverty and who have difficulty accessing mainstream financial services and products typically offered by retail banks’.

Swedish tech firm iZettle is providing card reading machines for a reduced price of £9 and say the transaction fees it takes will be ‘significantly lower’ than the standard 1.75 per cent, the BBC reports.

Big Issue sellers go contactless The Big Issue & iZettle roll out contactless payments nationwide The Big Issue and iZettle have launched their contactless payments initiative nationwide following a successful trial. The scheme allows magazine vendors across the UK to sign up to accept card payments, in addition to cash. The UK-wide rollout follows on from a pilot in seven cities that took place between December 2018 ? May 2019. Vendors taking part in the trials noticed a significant uplift in sales as a result of accepting contactless payments. Two vendors are making around 80% of their sales via cashless payments and on average 25% of the vendors total sales were cashless payments via iZettle readers. In London?s St Paul?s Underground station vendor Hugh Palmer says offering contactless payments has enabled him to ?fit back in society?. The 73-year-old started selling The Big Issue after going bankrupt in 2011 and believes that offering contactless payments as part of the iZettle trial has given him renewed confidence.
The iZettle card readers are attracting more customers (Picture: The Big Issue)

Mile Hall, 29, who sells the magazine inside Bristol Temple Meads railway station, said: ‘Since I started using my iZettle card reader, I have seen my sales increase by a third, which is incredible.

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‘It has been really important in attracting more customers to buy copies of the magazine from me and I am so pleased to be part of being able to offer contactless.’

Norwich based vendor Jim Hannah, 59, says she now feels ‘ready for a cashless future’ thanks to the scheme.

She added: ‘Before all this started I had no ID, no bank account and a rubbish phone and now I have a decent smartphone, a passport, a bank account and a card reader.’

Big Issue sellers go contactless The Big Issue & iZettle roll out contactless payments nationwide The Big Issue and iZettle have launched their contactless payments initiative nationwide following a successful trial. The scheme allows magazine vendors across the UK to sign up to accept card payments, in addition to cash. The UK-wide rollout follows on from a pilot in seven cities that took place between December 2018 ? May 2019. Vendors taking part in the trials noticed a significant uplift in sales as a result of accepting contactless payments. Two vendors are making around 80% of their sales via cashless payments and on average 25% of the vendors total sales were cashless payments via iZettle readers. In London?s St Paul?s Underground station vendor Hugh Palmer says offering contactless payments has enabled him to ?fit back in society?. The 73-year-old started selling The Big Issue after going bankrupt in 2011 and believes that offering contactless payments as part of the iZettle trial has given him renewed confidence.
The scheme is helping people ‘fit back into society’ (Picture: The Big Issue)

Hugh Palmer, 73, who sells the Big Issue in London’s St Paul’s Underground Station says the scheme helps sellers look more legitimate to passers-by.

He added: ‘It’s promoting you and people think, “Ooh he’s got contactless, he must be OK,”

‘You fit back into society; before when it was cash only you would get days when people just didn’t buy the magazine from you.’

The Big Issue was launched in 1991 and is sold for £2.50 by vendors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness who buy them for £1.25 each.

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