London City Hall announced a £20 million (about $31 million) fund to help encourage the use of mobile and contactless payments on the capital’s high streets.
Through the London Regeneration Fund, local authorities, traders’ associations, workspace providers and community groups will have the opportunity to submit tech-related proposals aimed at developing digital payment options for street traders, Finextra reported late last week.
“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 centers and fuse it with groundbreaking technology and innovation to create high streets that will power our economy for years to come,” London Mayor Boris Johnson told Finextra.
The campaign will launch with a “Regen Bootcamp,” where the mayor’s office will host a series of idea sessions bringing together designers, tech innovators, social entrepreneurs and architects to collaborate on innovative ideas. Local authorities, along with community and business organizations, will work to determine the best ways to support London’s high streets and establishments.
The fund has already set its sights on providing customers with the ability to use contactless payments while shopping in markets or offering select discounts and services for local shops delivered directly to mobile devices.
According to Finextra, sales for vendors at Covent Garden’s market in central London jumped significantly after implementing mobile point-of-sale card readers courtesy of PayPal back in 2013.