The old excuse of having no change to give to the homeless won't fly much longer as some begin to accept card payments.
Sweden's version of the Big Issue, called Situation Sthlm, is pioneering mobile card payments with its vendors on the streets of Stockholm. The initiative is backed by payment company iZettle which allows them to take payments from credit or debit cards.
The programme, which aims to move Stockholm closer to being a changeless city, has been trialled for one month by five sellers who were given smartphones with iZettle card readers. They simply slot in the card and customers sign on screen or type in their pin. The phones and readers are collected and returned along with the magazines at the central office each day. The trial's success means the launch is now officially full-scale.
Jacob de Geer, CEO and co-founder of iZettle, says: "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."
Since iZettle works in the UK too, we can't imagine it will be long before you can slap a Big Issue or two on plastic.