Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
30 May 2018
iZettle hinges on the arrogance of musicians
The following blog on iZettle has been penned by Stealing Share brand strategist, Mark Dougherty
Here’s a bit of original technology the world doesn’t need. A cashless pay system for London buskers (street musicians), constructed by the Swedish company, iZettle.
Imagine if you will, the iZettle process. You’re perusing the streets of London and you stumble upon a street performer passionately strumming on a guitar and belting it out. They’re not bad. But alas, you haven’t any change to toss in their case. Not to worry, the busker has an iZettle account, all set up so you can whip out a credit card and complete the transaction for performance right on the spot.
Back when I was a fledgling band member, we busked on the corners of our hometown every so often. It was a great time. We didn’t do it for the cash. Rather, we were increasing our exposure, giving our records out for free. Much like giving out a business card. If we collect a few dollars, that was cool. We put the cash towards our “gear pot.” But it surely wasn’t paramount to the sharing music.
“I understand if the performer is selling their physical product. In that case, iZettle makes sense. But not as a service for the sheer intention of snagging spare change.”
Who would want this iZettle payment system?
Pardon the term, but I would have felt like a tool if we were using something like iZettle for extra cash. There is an arrogance about a system that hinges on an expectation of receiving money. Peers would have deemed us ego manaics in our little underground corner of the world. Not a cool thing to be when you’re working the scene.
I understand if the performer is selling their physical product. In that case, iZettle makes sense. But not as a service for the sheer intention of snagging spare change.
What’s next, the homeless taking credit cards?
It’s not far off. Consider your local homeless persona on the corner with a hand-scribed sign saying, “Now accepting credit cards.” Not to lessen the commodity of the street performer, but the intention is the same. It just feels odd.
I appreciate iZettle’s notion of helping musicians, but not so they can swindle a few extra dollars from a passing audience.
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