As society continues to go increasingly cashless, we knew that we couldn’t allow our vendors to be left behind.
For the last year The Big Issue has been working with Swedish tech firm iZettle to give all of our vendors the chance to offer contactless payments.
It’s more than just a convenient way to pay for the magazine. Contactless is vital to stop vendors from being financially excluded – with 80 per cent of total payments in the UK now made via contactless. As people continued to carry less cash, our vendors were finding it harder to make a living.
The iZettle trial kicked off last December, starting out with 20 vendors across London, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham before card readers were made available to all vendors in September. So far, 133 vendors across the UK have gone contactless and in the past three months alone we have seen a 95 per cent increase in the number of vendors adopting the technology.
The impact on sales for vendors in the trial was immediate and significant. Several reported rises, some only slightly (eight per cent) while one saw their sales skyrocket by 290 per cent.
On average, a quarter of the vendors’ overall sales were made via cash payments, with two vendors making around 80 per cent of their sales without cash.