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The Big Issue has equipped 1,000 of its vendors with contactless technology as part of a drive to help the magazine’s sellers become cashless, it has been announced.
Contactless payments can be made on the vendors’ mobile devices via the Zettle by PayPal card reader.
The Big Issue aims to enable all its 1,500 vendors to become cashless by the end of the year.
Research has shown that a vendor offering cashless payments will sell a third more magazines.
Russell Blackman, of The Big Issue, said it was a “significant milestone”, adding: “We have long-recognised that we are operating in an increasingly cashless society, even more so since the pandemic.
“Big Issue vendors are micro-entrepreneurs, effectively running their own small businesses, so understandably there are many who are keen to offer their customers an alternative to cash.
“The rollout 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.
“The partnership with Zettle by PayPal reflects our shared values and commitment to creating a more financially inclusive society, supporting those whose lives have been blighted by poverty and a lack of opportunity.”
This week's Big Issue is out now!
Pick up a copy from your local vendor! pic.twitter.com/Qs3tTUSPNe
— The Big Issue (@BigIssue) May 2, 2022
Ed Hallett, senior director of small business at PayPal, said: “Our launch of Tap to Pay and collaboration with The Big Issue to enable all of their 1,500 vendors to take contactless payments just from their phone at no additional cost is an important step in our commitment to build a more inclusive, fair and transparent financial services system where everyone deserves a chance to lead a better life.”
Dave, who sells the magazine in Hammersmith, west London, was one of the earliest vendors to go cashless.
He said: “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.
“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.
“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.”