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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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No coins? London buskers now accepting contactless payments

London mayor Sadiq Khan called it an “innovative, first-of-its-kind scheme”.

Busking is common in tube stations and across landmarks in London.
Busking is common in tube stations and across landmarks in London.
Image: Richard Gray/EMPICS Entertainment/PA

THE CITY OF London has introduced a contactless payment system for its buskers, where passers-by can tap their cards to make a payment to the performers.

After a successful trial scheme, the system has been formally adopted with London mayor Sadiq Khan calling it an “innovative, first-of-its-kind scheme”.

There are popular busking locations all over the English capital, with only a few exceptions to where buskers are allowed to perform. Buskers are also common in underground stations, where a licence is required to perform.

Under the new scheme, performers will be able to bring along card readers, and accept loose change as well as a contactless payment.

Khan said: “Busking helps emerging artists to hone their talent and gives them the chance to perform in front of huge numbers of people.

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

Full-time busker Charlotte Campbell was one of those who trialled the technology and she said that new payments method had a “significant impact on contributions”.

“More people than ever tap-to-donate whilst I sing, and often, when one person does, another follows,” she said.

The scheme has been launched in partnership with Swedish tech firm iZettle, which was taken over by US giant PayPal earlier this month.

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Sean Murray

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