The times, they are a changing. With fewer people carrying cash, a British university student has developed a system that lets buskers accept contactless payments.
Developed by Brunel University London student Emma McBride, Tiptap comes in two parts: a contactless payment-equipped stand into which the performer can insert their smartphone, and an app installed onto that handset which allows audience members to input the amount they’d like to tip, before tapping their card or mobile.
McBride is not the first to address the effects of an increasingly cashless society - ING has rolled out contactless charity donation boxes, while animal welfare charity Blue Cross has kitted out dogs with coats featuring contactless terminals so that Brits can make donations with a 'pat and tap'.
However, McBride's app can also provide up-to-date earnings and expenses feedback and be used to manage shows, track potential queues in popular locations and share promotional content.
To promote customer trust in the Tiptap system, performers are required to have their account verified to use it. To pay for the service, buskers would have to pay a one-off fee followed by a five per cent commission on tips.
Tiptap is still in the development stage, but McBride is hoping to commercialise her idea, saying: "Final feedback with buskers was very positive, and people were really excited about the concept and keen for it to be developed into a real business."