The Big Issue launches contactless scheme nationwide through iZettle

Street newspaper The Big Issue has announced its British sellers will now be able to process contactless payment following a successful trial in affiliation with Swedish fintech iZettle

Initially, 20 magazine sellers in London, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham were onboarded to trial accepting payments via contactless technology alongside regular cash payments.

At the launch of the trial, Russell Blackman, managing director, The Big Issue, commented: “We have long-recognised that we are operating in an increasingly cashless society.

“Big issue vendors are microentrepreneurs, effectively running their own small businesses, so understandably there are many who are keen to respond to market forces and offer their customers an alternative to cash.

“The partnership between iZettle and The Big Issue reflects our shared values and commitment to creating a more financially-inclusive society, supporting those whose lives have been blighted by poverty and a lack of opportunity.”

“The Big Issue looks forward to providing our vendors with the opportunity to cater for their customers’ needs and increase their ability to earn a legitimate income.”

Availability of card readers will be made more accessible for Big Issue vendors through iZettle at a reduced price of £9 and the firm said they will benefit from a per-transaction fee “significantly lower” than its standard rate of 1.75%.

One in five Brits are said to be only using card-based payments and according to iZettle, 80% of their overall payments in the UK are now contactless, which in turn made them a “perfect partner” for the publication.