More Ways To Pay

Big Issue vendors are offering more ways to pay for The Big Issue magazine. Now, along with cash, you can pay with your card or the Beem It app.

Digital payments will help to ensure vendors, who earn a life-changing income from selling The Big Issue magazine, have the greatest chance of success now and in the future.




  • Cash

    For 22 years customers have paid for The Big Issue with cash, and cash will continue to be an important source of income for some Big Issue vendors.

    Vendors are running their own business selling The Big Issue, and they choose whether to offer digital payments. If your local vendor’s business remains cash-only, keep supporting them by paying the traditional way.


  • Card

    Vendors taking card payments will be equipped with a Quest tap-and-go device that accepts Visa, Mastercard or Eftpos debit cards.

    The device is powered by NAB and syncs with an app on your vendor’s phone. When you purchase a magazine, your vendor will use their app to tell the tap-and-go device how much to charge. Your vendor will then show you the price displayed on the device before you tap your card. From a customer perspective, it works like any other tap-and-go payment.


  • Beem It

    Beem It is a free mobile app that lets users make and receive instant payments.

    To use Beem It

    • download the app from your app store
    • create an account
    • verify your ID and
    • link the app to any Australian-issued Visa or Mastercard debit card.

    To buy a Big Issue magazine with Beem It, use the app to scan your vendor’s QR code. The QR code will be on your vendor’s lanyard. This will generate the price of the magazine and link to your vendor’s Beem It account. Then you simply swipe your finger to approve the payment on your phone.

    Beem It is jointly owned by the Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are the digital payment options secure?

    Yes, both options have banking level security.

    The Quest tap-and-go devices are powered by NAB. Beem It is jointly owned by the Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac.

  • Can I still pay with cash?

    Absolutely, many vendors will continue to rely on cash payments.

  • How can I tell if my vendor is accepting digital payments?

    Every vendor chooses how to operate and earn income from The Big Issue. They may offer one, both or neither of the digital payment options.

    An easy way to find out if your vendor is taking digital payments is to ask them! Vendors who are offering digital payments will also be wearing a badge on their vest.

  • How do I make a digital payment?

    Making a digital payment is easy.

    One option is tap-and-go with your Visa, Mastercard or Eftpos debit card. The Quest payment device is powered by NAB and syncs with an app on your vendor’s phone. Vendors select the magazine option in their app, which tells the device how much to charge. From a customer perspective, it works like any other tap-and-go payment.

    The second option is the Beem It app. Beem It, owned by the Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac, lets users make and receive instant payments. If you’re new to Beem It, download the app free from your app store and follow the prompts. Creating and verifying your account takes less than five minutes, all you need to get set up is a valid ID and a Visa or Mastercard debit card. To buy a Big Issue magazine with Beem It, scan your vendor’s QR code to generate the price of the magazine and approve the payment on your phone.

  • What does this change mean for Big Issue vendors?

    Digital payments will help vendors increase their sales as they reach a wider audience who aren’t carrying cash. This change also means vendors are future-proofing their businesses. As cash transactions continue to decline in Australia, they will already be set up to take digital payments.

    Many vendors having been eagerly awaiting the launch of digital payments and are excited to use the technology. For other vendors this is a big change and they would greatly appreciate your patience as they become familiar with the digital payment options.

  • What happens if something goes wrong during a transaction?

    The chance of a transaction going wrong is very unlikely.

    If you’re using Beem It, you control the transaction on your phone. All you need to do is scan the vendor’s QR code, which generates price of the magazine. Then you approve the payment on your phone.

    If you’re paying with card, your vendor will use a simple app to tell their tap-and-go device how much to charge. Your vendor will show you the cost displayed on their device before you tap your card to pay.

    If something does go wrong, refunds can be processed through both payment options. The first step is talking to your vendor. If it can’t be resolved straight away, please let us know.

  • Where does my money go after a digital transaction?

    Directly into your vendor’s bank account.

  • Why can’t I pay with Osko / PayID / Google Pay?

    We consulted with many experts, including vendors, to find the best digital payment options for vendors and customers.

    Many factors were considered: ensuring money is quickly available to vendors, affordability, low or no cost, ease of use and customer security. Beem It and tap-and-go tick these boxes.

  • Why is The Big Issue taking digital payments?

    Australia is one of the leading adopters of digital payments. Just 37 per cent of payments were made with cash in 2016.

    Big Issue vendors have been noticing the change as well. They’ve reported that fewer and fewer people are carrying cash, which means they’re missing out on opportunities to sell the magazine.

    We’re equipping vendors with the skills and tools to take digital payments, so they can be part of the digital economy and continue to earn a meaningful income from selling The Big Issue.