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Nick Cuthbert is the first vendor to get a card reader in Cornwall

The popular seller is now offering cashless payments on his pitch as more and more vendors receive card readers across the UK thanks to our iZettle trial

Nick Cuthbert card reader

Popular vendor Nick Cuthbert is the latest vendor to join The Big Issue’s cashless revolution after becoming the first vendor in Cornwall use a card reader.

The 54-year-old, who sells the magazine outside M&S at Lemon Quay in Truro, started offering contactless payments on May 25 after spending two months setting up the device to allow his regular customers to pay by card.

Now, Nick is keen to get the word out about his new offering to his regulars and the Truro public.

“I’ve had three customers so far because I was a bit nervous to use it but it was a bit easier to use than I expected it to be,” said Nick. “Now I just want to get the word out locally that I have it. It has taken me two months to get this together, updating my ID and care-of address.

“It was possible because someone gave me an iPhone at Christmas, otherwise I couldn’t have done this anyway because you need a smartphone.”

As society becomes increasingly cashless, the Access to Cash Review has issued warnings that as many as eight million cash users could be financially excluded should notes and coins be jettisoned altogether.

That’s why The Big Issue is working with iZettle to ensure more and more vendors across the country can carry card readers and offer contactless payments.

But as Nick’s experience suggests, there are a number of hurdles to overcome, both administrative and technological, to set up the offering.

However, the Truro vendor insists that his customers have been clamouring for a cashless option.

“I’ve had customers asking me in the last two weeks whether I was getting contactless but I had been saying to quite a few people that I will be contactless very soon,” he said. “I get people telling me every day, “I don’t do cash, I haven’t got cash”.

“More and more people don’t use cash but now it’s all about building up the trust with my customers – there’s a receipt with it via email or text. I’ve got a pretty good name in this town, it has taken me years to build up.”

I get people telling me every day, “I don’t do cash, I haven’t got cash”

Nick recently featured in The Big Issue after he was caught up in a Carl Benjamin rally that erupted into scuffles when a protestor threw a milkshake at the failed UKIP European elections campaigner.

And the vendor insists that his intervention to help a man trapped on the ground in the aftermath has been praised in Truro.

He added: “It was a bad move that was actually a good move. I’ve been inundated with well dones, so many people have come up to me to shake my hand.”

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