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Music to the ears of buskers everywhere

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By Robert Hackwill
Music to the ears of buskers everywhere

London is claiming a world first in a collaboration between the organisation Busk in London, and a Swedish tech company, iZettle.

With fewer and fewer people carrying cash street musicians and artists have been feeling the pinch and takings have been in decline.

Some equipped themselves with credit card readers to tackle the problem, but that wasn't the best idea.

"What was happening is people were playing their song and people were walking by, wanting to make a payment or a contribution, and the street performer would have to stop playing. So, it would kind of defeat the whole purpose. So, this is the kind of milestone in working with Busk in London, to set the street performer up so they can set their card reader up on a sort of set and forget method. So, they can take payment without having to stop playing," explains the MD of iZettle UK, Edward Hallet.

"I would say now I take about 10 to 15 per cent of my income from busking is on card, which doesn't sound like a lot, but who would turn away 15 per cent of their income?" says musician Charlotte Campbell.

The contactless "tap and pay" system seems to work well for everyone, but of course cash will still be happily accepted, and now there'll be no excuse to just walk on by.