Technology

Contactless payments for London buskers to be launched

In what is posed as a world-first, a contactless payments scheme for busking performers is to be rolled out across the streets of London.

Backed by the Mayor of Londons office and powered by fintech commerce firm Izettle, performers in London will soon to be able to receive tips and payments for merchandise via contactless cards, wearable technology like smart watches and fitness trackers, as well as chip and pin.

The project, orchestrated by the organisation Busk in London, will see artists handed card readers that can be programmed to accept a fixed amount of money for donation, enabling passersby to give back to performers following the end of successful trails across the city.

Read more: PayPal in talks for $2.2bn takeover of iZettle

"Busking helps emerging artists to hone their talent and gives them the chance to perform in front of huge numbers of people,” said London mayor Sadiq Khan

"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."

Charlotte Campbell, a full-time busker who was part of the trial, said that after two weeks she saw the new payments method "had a significant impact on contributions".

Izettle was bought this month by US payments giant PayPal in an all-cash deal valued at $2.2bn.

The timing of the agreement came just weeks after the Swedish fintech had announced plans to launch on Nasdaq Stockholm, which saw the firm aiming to raise £170m at an estimated valuation of over $1bn.

Read more: Fintech firm Izettle aims to raise £170m in Stockholm float

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