London introduces cashless busking

Written by Poppy Reid on 28th May, 2018
London introduces cashless busking

Busking has gone cashless in London in a world-first – and of course PayPal is behind it.

The move toward a cashless society has recruited so many sectors of the music industry; but for buskers, the move away from carrying cash wasn’t exactly ideal.

Some buskers, like Josh and George who created The Buskers Guide, have been accepting Bitcoin as payment.

the buskers guide sign for accepting bitcoin
Josh and George accept Bitcoin when busking

Now, Busk in London, which was set up as a guide in 2015 by the Mayor of London, is working with Stockholm-founded tech firm iZettle on a cashless scheme.

iZettle was acquired this month by payments giant PayPal for US$2.2bn for its card reading tech. The tech plug into smartphones and other devices, and allows tap-to-donate fixed payments.

The first-ever initiative in London will see buskers plug special card readers into their smartphones and set a fixed donation amount, fans can then wave their card or a compatible NFC device over the street performer’s phone.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the scheme will be be rolled out across the city in London’s 32 boroughs after successful trials.

“Now, more Londoners will be able to show their support to the capital’s brilliant, talented street performers,” he said.

It’s not known when the tap-to-pay option will go global, but with international juggernaut PayPal involved, it could spread far and wide as soon as the trials are completed.

Watch Bruce Springsteen busking in Boston:

The article was originally published on The Industry Observer