'With cash no longer king, and electronic payments on the rise, there is less and less of the spare change that homeless people and many charities rely on around.
But the Big Issue has announced plans to embrace the technological change, and hopefully boost its homeless vendors’ income, by issuing them with card readers.
Instead of digging at the bottom of their pockets for notes and coins, potential purchasers will be able to just tap to pay for their magazine.
The eight-week trial, beginning on Monday in London, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham, is a response to figures showing cash payments in steep decline – falling from 62% of transactions in the UK in 2006 to 40% last year.
They are expected to decline further to 21% by 2026. Last year Barclaycard warned that charities may be missing out on more than £80m each year by only accepting cash donations.
Russell Blackman, managing director of the Big Issue, said: “Obviously, we’re moving swiftly towards a cashless society. In the last few years, Big Issue sellers have been proactive and they’ve gone off and purchased their own payment devices, but we hope this pilot is the starting point that will provide more vendors with an income in the changing landscape.”'
Read more: Big Issue to trial card readers after steep decline in carrying cash
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