The Big Issue becomes first resellable magazine with Pay It Forward launch.

Magazines will come with scannable QR codes allowing readers to pass copies to friends who can pay the original vendor for it.

Gary Lineker and Roger Daltrey may be poles apart on the Brexit debate. But there is a way to bring them together – with The Big Issue, of course!

The sporting and rock titans have put their differences aside to back our new initiative that will ensure our hard-working vendors earn even more money.

We’re calling Pay It Forward, the world’s first resellable magazine. With the help of digital bank Monzo, Big Issue magazines will come with individual, scannable QR codes that allow readers to pass magazines on to a friend who can then scan it to pay the original vendor again.

This helps vendors earn more money and counters the challenges raised by an increasingly cashless society.

Newsreader Alastair Stewart and the cast of Wicked also bought copies of the magazine, with the special QR code editions starting to run this week.

Monzo’s Lew Isaacs said: “In the last 10 years, the number of cash payments has halved. And although paying by card is convenient, the falling use of cash has real consequences for people in poverty and organisations like The Big Issue.

We hope Pay It Forward will help grow the earnings of Big Issue sellers when readers pass the magazine on to their friends. Our goal is to give more vulnerable people access to financial services, and help The Big Issue continue its crucial work.

Owen Lee is chief creative officer for FCB Inferno, who helped create the Pay It Forward system. He said: “By turning every Big Issue buyer into a potential seller, we’ll activate a huge and untapped force for good with each vendor being the head of a chain of entrepreneurship.

While all Big Issue magazines are made to do good, this means that every magazine can keep on doing good.”

The project is launching with a limited number of trials. Up to 20 vendors around the UK will be involved and each will be helped into the financial system with Monzo supporting them to open bank accounts as part of the trial. The banking element often proves challenging for vendors as most banks and building societies require account holders to have a fixed address.

Aaron Dunn, 30, who sells The Big Issue in Covent Garden, said: “It is great because you get to earn extra money on top of the sales you make of the magazine. You never know how far it is going to go. One of my magazines has already been passed around over 20 times.

The above article by Hannah Westwater first published on in Apr, 2019.