(Original post at Decode Magazine)
London has become the world’s first city to introduce contactless card payment for street performers.
“Busk in London”, a Mayor of London initiative, has announced that appreciative audiences will now be able to use contactless card readers to tip buskers in the city.
The scheme was launched in partnership with Swedish financial company iZettle, which was acquired by PayPal last month.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said at the launch: “Busking helps emerging artists to hone their talent and gives them the chance to perform in front of huge numbers of people.
“I’m delighted that iZettle has chosen London to launch this innovative scheme, allowing artists to accept donations by card payment, as well as cash. Now, Londoners will be able to show their support to the capital’s brilliant, talented street performers much more easily.”
Now, passerbys can make payments via cash, contactless, chip and pin, and wearable technology.
Charlotte Campbell, a full-time busker, has been trialling the scheme and said it has had “a significant impact” on the contributions she’s received.
She said: “More people than ever tap to donate while I sing, and often, when one person does, another follows.”
Ryan Kennedy, a musician from Camden, seems enthusiastic about the scheme: “I think it’ll help me make a better living, because hardly anyone carries any cash these days. Cards will just make things so much easier.”
The contactless payment scheme is being rolled out to performers in 32 boroughs, with more planned in future months.