The Big Issue has partnered with contactless payments provider iZettle to launch trials of the technology for its vendors.
Up to 20 vendors across London, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham will offer contactless payments alongside regular cash payments, before the technology is rolled out nationwide. The pilot is the first of its kind.
iZettle reports that more than 70% of payments in the UK are now cashless and this partnership will help boost financial inclusion for its vendors.
He said: “I’ve definitely noticed a dip in the number of people carrying cash, which has had a knock-on effect on the number of magazines that I’m able to sell.”
Russell Blackman, managing director of The Big Issue, said: “We have long-recognised that we are operating in an increasingly cashless society. Big issue vendors are microentrepreneurs, effectively running their own small businesses, so understandably there are many who are keen to respond to market forces and offer their customers an alternative to cash.
“The partnership between iZettle and The Big Issue 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.”
Edward Hallett, iZettle UK managing director added: “We’re constantly looking at ways we can aid financial inclusion so it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to partner with The Big Issue.
“Our partnership ensures that vendors never have to miss out on a sale again.”