Buying a Big Issue could soon be less a case of finding enough shrapnel in your pocket and more one of simply pulling the plastic out of your wallet with a scheme to allow payment to be made using payments other than cash.
A scheme in Stockholm rolled out by Situation Sthlm magazine, the Swedish equivalent of the Big Issue, has seen vendors start accepting credit and debit card payments using technology from mobile payments firm iZettle.
"Sweden is getting closer and closer to a cashless society as most people here prefer to pay by card. Cash is still important but if you don't accept cards you will miss out. We're very happy to make it possible for organisations like Situation Sthlm to accept cards,” said Jacob de Geer, CEO and cofounder of iZettle. “People are happy to trust their cards with the vendors because they trust the card system. This is a milestone for us as it's taking our vision to democratise payments to another level."
The scheme equips magazine vendors with a smartphone and iZettle card reader to be able to take payments on the spot, which are both picked up at the same time as the batch of magazines at the beginning of each day.
The vendor plugs the device into the smartphone and then invites customers to either sign the screen or use a PIN number to complete a purchase. At the end of each day the smartphone and reader are returned to the central offices of the magazine.
It has been running on a trial basis for the past month and the success has meant the programme is being rolled out in full in Stockholm with other countries already sitting up and taking notice.
The scheme could well prove a sign of things to come in the UK. During a chance encounter with Big Issue founder John Bird in 2012, ITProPortal learned that the well-known UK title may begin issuing its sellers with tablet PCs in the not-too-distant future.
Image Credit: Flickr (mike_valli)