Big Issue hands sellers mobile phones to boost cashless payments

Big Issue has developed its first phone partnership with a mobile network as it looks to boost cashless giving options for its vendors.

The social enterprise has formed a partnership with giffgaff to provide 250 refurbished phones to Big Issue magazine sellers.

Each is equipped with Near Field Communication technology to ensure they can take cashless payments directly without the need for an additional card reader.

“This will make sales smoother and easier for vendors – as well as making it quicker and more secure for Big Issue customers to buy from them,” said Big Issue.

This partnership builds on work to increase sellers’ ability to accept cashless payments that stepped up during the Covid pandemic when card readers were issued. This move increased each seller's yearly earnings by £520.

“We’ve all been in situations where people have been trying to sell us the Big Issue and there’s an awkward moment when you realise you haven't got any cash, because a lot of us don't carry it anymore,” said giffgaff chief executive Ash Schofield.

“So, by providing phones through this partnership, we help to remove that barrier.”

Big Issue managing director Russell Blackman added: “In line with our commitment to digital and financial training, the Big Issue plans to work together with giffgaff to continue improving vendors’ confidence and competence with their new phones.”



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