London traders have been urged to start using contactless payments as part of a £20 million fund established by City Hall to regenerate the capital's high streets.
The London Regeneration Fund will give local authorities, traders’ associations, workspace providers, and community groups the chance to come forward with tech-focussed proposals to breathe new life into the city's high streets.
To launch the campaign, the Mayor’s Office is hosting a ‘Regen Bootcamp’ with 'open ideas' sessions that will see designers, architects, tech innovators and social entrepreneurs collaborate with local authorities, community and business organisations to thrash out innovative ideas to support London's high streets and places of work.
Innovations already targeted by the fund include giving customers the opportunity to pay with their contactless credit card at a market stall or providing customised discounts and services for local shops straight to customers’ mobile phones.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson says: “Our dynamic high streets are teeming with economic activity and bristling with creative minds but we need to make sure they are equipped to meet the demands of our ever-changing city. This fund will take everything that is so good about our local town centres and fuse it with ground-breaking technology and innovation to create high streets that will power our economy for years to come.”
Stallholders at Covent Garden's arts and craft market in central London saw sales shoot up in 2013 after they were equipped with with mobile point-of-sale card readers courtesy of PayPal, enabling them to accept debit card payments over the busy Christmas shopping period.