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Cashless is no longer a Big Issue

1 December, 2023

With less and less physical cash being used for daily payments, it becomes harder for pedestrians to show solidarity on the street, such as by buying the Big Issue magazine. This is why we were happy to learn about the collaboration between Giffgaff and The Big Issue. 

Giffgaff, a mobile network with a heart, is providing 250 refurbished phones to new magazine vendors of The Big Issue. This marks The Big Issue’s first-ever phone partnership with a mobile network. These phones come equipped with Near Field Communication technology, enabling vendors to accept cashless payments directly using a smartphone, eliminating the need for an additional card reader. Vendors have already reported an average increase of five extra magazines sold every week when using the technology. 

But the hidden great impact of this initiative lies in its contribution to digital inclusion. Digital exclusion, often intertwined with poverty, disproportionately affects those without internet access. Providing smartphones to The Big Issue vendors, is enhancing their connectivity, skills, and confidence. The impact is tangible, as vendors like Ion and Cimpeanu report feeling more connected and empowered in their daily lives. 

There are ways all of us can get involved – find your local Big Issue vendor on the interactive map or purchase a Winter Support Kit for one of the vendors. This not only provides you with four copies of the magazine but also contributes to a brighter future for the vendors. And for those seeking B Corp certification, the inspiration lies in initiatives like these – reach out and be a part of the change. 

By Flora Gicquel

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