Advertisement
News

Don’t carry cash? Don’t worry, 1,000 Big Issue sellers now accept contactless payments

Two-thirds of Big Issue sellers now accept contactless payments, and all 1,500 will by the end of this year.

The pat-your-pockets-and-grimace combination is on its way to becoming history, with 1,000 of the Big Issue’s 1,500 vendors now taking contactless payments.

Getting rid of the need for a card reader, vendors will now be able to accept payments directly on their phones.

It’s part of a drive that will see all 1,500 Big Issue vendors becoming cashless by the end of the year. A year ago, 594 sellers were able to take contactless payments.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

PayPal Zettle’s Tap To Pay lets vendors download an app and accept payments within minutes. Those buying the magazine need only tap their card or phone on the back of the vendor’s Android device.

While the vendors will still accept cash, stats show accepting cashless payments allows them to sell 35 per cent more magazines.

Nearly 70 per cent of debit card transactions, and over half of credit card transactions in the UK are now contactless.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Support The Big Issue

Give your local vendor a hand up and buy the magazine

Each of our vendors buy their copies of the mag for £1.50 each, selling them for £3 and keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor.

There is no extra charge to the vendor, compared to chip and pin card transactions, for using contactless.

Dave normally sells the magazine on his pitch at Tesco, Brook Green, Hammersmith. He was one of the earliest vendors to go cashless, and so was aware of the benefits of offering contactless sales even before the pandemic. “The Big Issue helped me to set up my bank account and sign up with Zettle by PayPal, and it has definitely helped my sales,” he said.

“Since the pandemic, most people want to pay by card as people don’t use cash these days, and they are often in a rush. So if they can pay by contactless they know it’s going to be quick and it’s going to be secure as well.

Article continues below

“And for me, Tap to Pay makes the process even simpler as I only need my phone, and that’s great! It’ll be perfect for new sellers too, as they can get out and start selling magazines with contactless as an option really quickly.”

Russell Blackman, managing director of commercial at The Big Issue, said: “This is an exciting milestone for The Big Issue Group. We have long-recognised that we are operating in an increasingly cashless society, even more so since the pandemic. 

“Big Issue vendors are microentrepreneurs, effectively running their own small businesses, so understandably there are many who are keen to offer their customers an alternative to cash.” 

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Homeless people are being ‘disproportionately criminalised’ by anti-social behaviour laws
Rough sleeping

Homeless people are being ‘disproportionately criminalised’ by anti-social behaviour laws

Labour would bring in free breakfast clubs at every primary school in England
Childcare

Labour would bring in free breakfast clubs at every primary school in England

‘An ambitious, bold, moonshot mission’: Can Labour’s green jobs strategy fix all of Britain’s problems?
Labour Party Conference

‘An ambitious, bold, moonshot mission’: Can Labour’s green jobs strategy fix all of Britain’s problems?

Gordon Brown steps in to help save one of the UK’s largest food banks from closure
Activism

Gordon Brown steps in to help save one of the UK’s largest food banks from closure

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

To mark our new Arctic Monkeys exclusive interview, we’ve picked out some of our best band and musician interviews from the past, featuring Arctic Monkeys (2018), When Jarvis met Bowie, The Specials, Debbie Harry and more. Sign up to our mailing list to receive your free digital copy.