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.
“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.”
Mike Hall, 29 (pictured), who sells the magazine inside Bristol Temple Meads station, Bristol, as part of The Big Issue’s partnership with Network Rail, said:
“Since I started using my iZettle card reader, I have seen my sales increase by a third, which is incredible. 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.”
Russell Blackman, MD of The Big Issue, commented:
“Big Issue vendors are micro-entrepreneurs, effectively running their own small businesses. It has long been our intention to provide our vendors with the opportunity to cater for their customers’ needs and increase their ability to earn a legitimate income.”
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