In Brief

Tiptap brings contactless payments to street performers

New app could revolutionise donating, says creator, as cash retreats from the high street

A new contactless payment device that will allow passers-by to give street performers and buskers money could revolutionise donating when it launches next month.

Tiptap has been developed by researchers at Brunel University in London to make it easier for audiences to give small amounts of change when they have no cash to hand.

Once the performer has plugged a smartphone into a contactless payment-equipped stand, audience members can enter the amount they would like to tip into an app and tap their payment card on the device to give money. It also allows performers to receive feedback and track popular busking locations.

The Stage says it has been developed “specifically for those who rely on cash but do not have a permanent base, such as London’s street performing community”.

Emma McBride, who created the device, told the industry paper: “For the third year in a row, cash has represented less than half of the total volume of payments made in the UK. This change in consumer behaviour has the future potential to exclude those who rely on cash to make a living, including street performers and musicians.”

While it has the potential to open up a huge new market, Tiptap does also come at a price: it takes a 5% commission on all donations.

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