Over one third of Big Issue vendors can now accept contactless payments, in a move which aims to increase magazine sales.

Around 600 sellers now have access to PayPal’s Zettle card readers, enabling them to offer PayPal QR code payments.

The move comes after Big Issue vendors were hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic, with magazine sales down due to a move to online retail.

Beth Thomas, head of partnerships and programmes at The Big Issue, said: “It was a devastating moment for both the vendors and the teams. Not only were vendors no longer able to earn an income through the sale of the magazine, they were also no longer able to communicate with the communities that they sell within.

“Lockdown meant that vendors lost their income and their community overnight. For the teams, this was a huge blow. Everyone knows how important the magazine is to our vendors to enable them to earn an income, develop their skills and confidence and feel part of a community, and this was being stopped – immediately.”

Big Issue contactless payments

The Big Issue has said that by rolling out contactless payment technology vendors will sell up to 30% more magazines than vendors only accepting cash.

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Dave, 59, normally sells the magazine in Hammersmith and was one of the first to receive a Zettle card reader.

He said:  “People were paying more by card before the pandemic, and I saw The Big Issue was getting vendors getting Zettle card readers to help their sales.

“The Big Issue helped me out, setting up my bank account and I signed up with Zettle. And it definitely helped my sales. And because of the pandemic, card sales increased a lot.”

Adding to this, Jacob de Geer, VP of small business products and Zettle at PayPal, said: “We’ve been a proud supporter of The Big Issue for years and with the impact of the pandemic, our joint commitment to creating a more financially inclusive society has never been more important than it is today.”