top of page

The Buskers own card reader

Misleading advice to buskers from the UK Government

The UK Government have written on their website that buskers may not put out signs, this is entirely wrong. There is indeed is a case when it would be illegal for busker to NOT put out a sign.

Below is the legal reason why buskers must use signs.

Busking licence (England and Wales) - GOV.UK (


For many years there has been a special card reader developed just for buskers.

The biggest problem with a busker using a card reader is that you have to reset it each time you need to use it, meaning you have to stop playing.

A few years ago this problem was solved by Izettle with a repeat pay function just for buskers.

This means a busker can set a tip price, say £2 a tip. The audience member can just walk up to the reader tap their card phone or watch the reader accepts the tip then automatically resets its self to the £2 you set earlier so the busker does not have to stop playing.

You must have a large sign stating clearly what you have set the reader to because the reader screen is to small for anyone with sight problems. For legal reasons it is important that the person tipping knows exactly how much the reader is set for, so you MUST have a clear large easy to read sign to be legal.

Unfortunately the street security people employed by City Councils are not properly trained. I have had stand up arguments with security guards who have told me they know what they are talking about, they don't. They are just following what they have been told by the City Council, and this is invariably WRONG.

Disabled buskers need to use the repeat pay function in order to keep working so it's important that councils don't over reach and fall into the trap of being accused of abuse and discrimination by not training their people properly and accusing disable buskers of something they are not guilty of.

The repeat pay function was developed by the London Mayors office and can only be used on an iPhone.

For more information on how to get and use the reader go here.....Click Here or just start the video

For legal information on the signs you must have....Click Here

Tip sign.jpg
bottom of page