You can now tip London buskers without handing over cash

london buskers tip without cash busker
One of London’s more unusual buskers. Farrukh/Flickr

With so many people these days ditching cash for contactless payments, there may be times when they reach into their pocket for a few coins to tip a particularly impressive street performer, only to find nothing there.

With some buskers using public performances as their only or main source of income, that could be valuable revenue lost. But a new scheme in London hopes to offer a lifeline in the form of, you guessed it, contactless payments.

It’s the result of a collaboration between the Mayor of London’s office, the Busk in London organization, and PayPal-owned payments company iZettle, and equips buskers with a reader device so passers-by can simply tap to donate a pre-defined amount using contactless payment cards or NFC-equipped mobile devices with digital wallets.

It’s thought to be the first organized scheme in the world allowing buskers to offer the payment method alongside old-fashioned cash donations.

London mayor Sadiq Khan described London as “a powerhouse of music,” with artists such as Adele, Stormzy, and Dua Lipa emerging from the city in recent years.

“For London to maintain its status as a global capital of music, it’s vitally important that we support the stars of tomorrow,” Khan said.

“Busking helps emerging artists to hone their talent and gives them the chance to perform in front of huge numbers of people.”

The mayor said the new scheme meant more people would now be able to show their support for the capital city’s many street performers.

Charlotte Campbell is one such busker who’s been helping to trial the project. The musician set her reader so that each transaction results in a payment of two British pounds, equivalent today to about $2.65.

Campbell said that if street performers don’t move with the times and embrace modern payment methods, “we’re at risk of becoming a dying art.”

After two weeks of trying out the electronic payments system, she said it had “already had a significant impact on the contributions I’ve received.”
Campbell said she’s noticed how when one person taps to donate, others who witness the act often follow suit, suggesting people are more than willing to adopt the new way of rewarding buskers.

Business

4 women innovators who are using tech to help others live better lives

Meet four women leaders who are not only at the forefront of technology today, but also using tech — from robotics and medicine to food and undergarments — to help others.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.
Gaming

The best Wii games, from Super Mario Galaxy to Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo shook up the gaming world with the Wii and its unique control scheme. Here are our picks for the best Wii games -- just don't blame us for having too many Mario titles on the list.
Gaming

DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…
Mobile

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.
Deals

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…
Mobile

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.
Mobile

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.
Deals

Amazon drops price on Apple Watch Series 4 with a rare deal

Since Apple first unveiled the Series 4, the price for one has pretty much held fast. This has finally started to change with a nice little $15 discount on Amazon. If you've been wanting the newest Apple Watch, now is a great time.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.