A contactless payment scheme is to be introduced for buskers in London in what is being described as a world first.
Performers will be handed readers that allow them to set a fixed amount of money to donate and accept contactless payments from passers-by.
The Busk in London project, a Mayor of London initiative that has partnered with tech company iZettle, will allow street musicians across the capital to accept payments via cash, contactless cards, wearable technology and chip and pin.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “London is a powerhouse of music, having produced artists from Adele to Stormzy, and The xx to Dua Lipa.
“For London to maintain its status as a global capital of music, it’s vitally important that we support the stars of tomorrow.
“Busking helps emerging artists to hone their talent and gives them the chance to perform in front of huge numbers of people.
“I’m delighted that iZettle has chosen London to launch this innovative scheme – allowing artists to accept donations by card payment, as well as cash.
“Now, more Londoners will be able to show their support to the capital’s brilliant, talented street performers.”
The project aims to increase the amount of money buskers receive, organisers said.
Full-time London busker Charlotte Campbell has been trialling the project.
She said: “I believe if street performers like myself don’t adapt to the cashless society we are edging towards, we’re at risk of becoming a dying art.
“I’ve only trialled Repeat Payments for two weeks and it’s already had a significant impact on the contributions I’ve received.
“More people than ever tap-to-donate whilst I sing, and often, when one person does, another follows.”
iZettle and Busk in London have now begun rolling out the scheme to performers in London’s 32 boroughs and more are planned in the coming months.
The tech company also plans to make contactless available to more charity organisations, NGOs and small businesses.
Former busker turned international singer-songwriter, Passenger, is to perform at Waterloo station on Sunday to celebrate the launch of the initiative.