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The Big Issue introduces digital payments for disadvantaged magazine vendors


The Big Issue introduces digital payments for disadvantaged magazine vendors


Not-for-profit media organisation, The Big Issue, has launched its ‘Now Accepting’ campaign, enabling vendors to accept payments other than cash for the first time in 22 years.

The Big Issue has launched its ‘Now Accepting’ campaign via Town Square, allowing vendors to accept digital payments through tap-and-go card payments and mobile transactions.

The initiative equips vendors with a Quest payments device, powered by NAB, that accepts Visa, Mastercard and Eftpos debit cards. Customers will also be able to purchase magazines by scanning a vendor’s QR code through Beem It, a free mobile payments app.

The Big Issue CEO Steven Persson discusses the importance of protecting its vendors by addressing the increasing trend towards cashless payments, “This campaign is our proud announcement that vendors are now trading with contactless technologies, as well as cash.”

The Big Issue is a not-for-profit media organisation that provides disadvantaged, marginalised and homeless individuals with access to work opportunities – primarily selling its fortnightly magazine. For the first time in 22 years, vendors will now be able to accept digital payment forms for the magazine in addition to cash.

“The campaign has its creative focus firmly where it should be – on the vendors – and we look forward to seeing more Big Issue readers enjoy the magazine, knowing that each transaction is helping marginalised Australians to earn a living in the community,” continues Persson.

As an official media partner, Town Square has supported The Big Issue over a number of years on a pro bono basis. The Now Accepting campaign was developed with Carat, securing donated media across television, cinema, PR, out-of-home and online.

“We’re proud to be collaborating with so many parties to give vendors the support they need to earn an income,” says Town Square director Harry Corsham.

“And it’s the simplicity of the campaign that makes it flexible enough to run across the many media channels our friends at Carat have secured from a wide range of supportive media partners.”

Rachel, a vendor for The Big Issue, gives her thoughts on the new payment methods, “When you’re homeless you become so marginalised. The Big Issue means I’m part of the community, and digital payments is another step forward because everyone is using digital payments.

The Big Issue Rachel

“Digital payments will make the magazine more accessible to more people, and I’ll sell more magazines. The extra money will help me continue my university studies. And I’ll spend some on myself, which I’ve never done before.”


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Image credit: The Big Issue, Town Square

Josh Loh

Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au

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