Buskers across the Capital are set to take payments from cards and phones in a contactless scheme thought to be a world first.
The project will see buskers who take part in Mayor of London initiative Busk in London handed an iZettle contactless card reader, with which they can take payments from passers-by who simply tap the reader with their phone or their contactless card – or watch – to show their appreciation for live music.
London mayor Sadiq Khan says: "For London to maintain its status as a global capital of music, it’s vitally important that we support the stars of tomorrow. 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, more Londoners will be able to show their support to the capital’s brilliant, talented street performers."
The project aims to increase the amount of money buskers receive, organisers explained.
Full-time London busker Charlotte Campbell has been trialling the project. She told Sky News: "I believe if street performers like myself don’t adapt to the cashless society we are edging towards, we’re at risk of becoming a dying art. I’ve only trialled Repeat Payments for two weeks and it’s already had a significant impact on the contributions I’ve received. More people than ever tap-to-donate whilst I sing, and often, when one person does, another follows."
iZettle and Busk in London have now begun rolling out the scheme to performers in London’s 32 boroughs and more are planned in the coming months.