Sellers of the Big Issue, a magazine sold by the homeless across the UK, are now able to accept PayPal QR Code payments, following an accelerated roll out of iZettle card readers to over a third of its vendor network.

During the pandemic, The Big Issue has grown the number of vendors with smartphones from 515 to 1,150 and set up bank accounts on behalf of over 1000 of its members.

PayPal-owned iZettle is making card readers available to vendors across the country for the reduced price of £9 and offering a a per-transaction fee “significantly lower” than its standard rate of 1.75%. 

With fewer people carrying cash during the pandemic, the roll out of the technology has proven phenomenally successful, as new figures show that vendors armed with contactless technology have seen a 30% increase in sales. 

The addition of QR Code technology means that, as well as tapping a card to buy a magazine, customers can scan the PayPal QR Code on a vendor’s phone and pay for the magazine out of their PayPal account within seconds.

The Big Issue’s head of partnerships and programmes, says: “The pandemic has only accelerated the need for vendors to accept cashless payments and we began a lot of this work with some vendors whilst still in lockdown. For us at The Big Issue, financial and digital inclusion is so important as it enables vendors to access the same services and products as everyone else, regardless of their personal circumstances

Beth Thomas, head of partnerships, The Big Issue