Home Email Scroll top Community

Buskers could go contactless thanks to new device

Buskers and street performers could soon accept contactless and mobile payments thanks to a new device, Tiptap, developed by Brunel University London student, Emma McBride.

Buskers and street performers could soon accept contactless and mobile payments thanks to a new device developed by a Brunel University London student.

Unveiled at London’s Made in Brunel exhibition, which runs from 15-17 June 2018, Tiptap allows people who rely on cash but don’t have a permanent base – such as London’s street performing community – to continue accepting tips as audiences move towards cashless payments.

How Tiptap works

The device comes in two parts:

  • a contactless, payment-equipped stand into which the performer inserts their smartphone
  • an app installed onto that smartphone, which allows audience members to input the amount they’d like to tip before tapping their card or mobile on the stand to complete payment
A busker with the Tiptap stand
A busker with the Tiptap stand

Final year Industrial Design and Technology BA student, Emma McBride, was inspired to create Tiptap after being unable to reward a busker she’d enjoyed listening to on a night out.

She hopes there will be opportunity to commercialise the device post-university – potentially working alongside a company that already specialises in accepting contactless payments – and plans to charge performers a one-off fee to set up the touchpoint and account and then charge a 5% commission on tips to cover the cost of service.

Emma McBride said:

‘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.

‘The app can also provide users with up-to-date earnings and expenses feedback whilst helping them to organise other aspects of street performance. By registering with Tiptap, performers can manage shows within private schemes, track potential queues in popular locations and share promotional content with their fanbase.’

Header photo: The Tiptap app