New project sees homeless people given barcodes to accept cashless payments

A new project, backed by Oxford University is giving homeless people barcodes to wear around necks to increase donations as Britain moves further towards a cashless society. The initiative, called Greater Change gives homeless people laminated labels, similar to those found on online tickets.

Those who wish to donate money, but do not have any change on them can scan the code on their smartphone and make an online payment to the person. The money is collected in an account and is managed by a case worker who makes sure that the money is spent on agreed targets such as saving for a rent deposit.

The founder of Greater Change, Alex McCallion told the BBC, “The problem we’re trying to solve here is that we live in an increasingly cashless society and as well as this when people give they worry about what this money might be spent on,”

Adding, “So the solution we’ve come up with is a giving mechanism through your smart phone with a restrictive fund.”

When the barcode is scanned by a smartphone, a profile of the homeless person is shown; this tells the potential donator information about the person, including how they came to be homeless and what jobs they used to do.

The project is currently being trailed in Oxford

The Big Issue Magazine stated that as Britain moves towards a cashless society that it has contributed to a decline of sales for the magazine. Managing director of the magazine Russell Blackman said earlier this year that they were looking at suppling their vendors with cashless payment terminals.

He said, “It is vital that we develop the right contactless solution for our vendors, ensuring that they can get instant access to their funds, even if they don’t have their own bank account due to a lack of permanent address.”

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