Big Issue Sellers Go Full Contactless

By Gary Cutlack on at

The nation's Big Issue sellers will no longer accept you doing a sad face and turning your pockets inside out to indicate a lack of cash as an excuse for not caring enough, as the fleet of magazine operatives are all being sorted out with discounted contactless readers to make paying for a copy a simpler and more modern experience.

The publisher has teamed up with iZettle to operate the system, which is selling the card readers at a discounted one-off price of £9 to any Big Issue seller who wants to get in on the contactless race. Apparently iZettle has negotiated a lower transaction fee per magazine sale too, as it's all about appearing to be helping in the charitable world and not solely interested in acquiring mobile advertising space on the high street.

A previous trial of a contactless payment scheme for the Big Issue in a few test cities saw sales switch to 80 per cent contactless as soon as buyers were made aware that waving their debit card was an option, with the magazine's publisher saying the launch will "...improve levels of financial inclusion for vendors, who often live lives that are blighted by poverty and who have difficulty accessing mainstream financial services and products typically offered by retail banks." [Big Issue via BBC]