You can now tip London street performers with contactless cards

Buskers in the capital can be tipped electronically in what may be a world first.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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The days of jiggling pockets for loose change and tossing them into caps may be over in what could be a world first -- street performers that can accept contactless payments.

The UK's capital city of London has introduced a new scheme in which buskers can accept traditional cash for their performances, but card readers can also be used for contactless tips.

As reported by the BBC a Mayor of London initiative called Busk in London -- which offers common-sense guidelines for buskers in the city -- has teamed up with Swedish mobile payments provider iZettle in developing the scheme.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Sunday that following successful trials, the project will be rolled out across London to allow "more Londoners [to] be able to show their support to the capital's brilliant, talented street performers."

Over the coming months, buskers will be able to access card readers for tap-to-donate systems.

While cash is still king for many in the UK, mobile payments are increasingly popular and street performers may be able to increase their takings by offering tap-to-tip options through contactless cards, chip-and-pin, and wearable technology.

Full-time busker Charlotte Campbell has been trialing the scheme and claims that there has been a "significant impact" on earnings after only two weeks by offering expanded payment options.

See also: Transport for London's contactless and mobile device payments system will be adopted in some American cities

Card readers are also a popular option for independent sole traders and SMBs which want to offer mobile payment options but for whom investment in the infrastructure required is not financially viable.

iZettle was acquired by mobile and online payments provider PayPal in May this year. The deal, worth $2.2 billion, will help Paypal tap into the European market as well as better compete against rival Square in physical stores.

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