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Virgin Media O2 to give free mobile data to Big Issue vendors

Megan Robinson
November 28, 2022

Working with Big Issue Group is part of Virgin Media O2’s wider commitment to tackle data poverty, along with partnering with Good Things Foundation to create the National Databank

Virgin Media O2 has announced it will support all Big Issue vendors with free O2 SIMs and data vouchers this Christmas.

In 2021, O2 gave over 200 Big Issue vendors free data plans in order for them to accept contactless payments.

In the UK, 90pc of in-person transactions are via contactless, and vendors who use contactless make 30pc more than those who do not.

This year, the company will offer monthly data to the magazine’s entire network of vendors. This follows reports that 18.7 million people are said to be digitally excluded through the cost of living crisis.

Russell Blackman, Managing Director at The Big Issue, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our invaluable work with Virgin Media O2, following its successful launch last year of the National Databank. 

“By extending this opportunity out to all Big Issue vendors, it will enable and empower them to boost their sales through cashless payments at this vital time of year, as well as being able to access essential online services.”

Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Media O2 added: “This year we wanted our Christmas campaign to not only help raise awareness of the support available via the National Databank, but to get data into the hands of those facing an unconnected Christmas.

“As part of this, we’re proud to be partnering with the Big Issue for the second year in a row to offer all vendors access to free mobile data each month. We know from the success of last year that this connectivity is crucial to facilitating mobile payments in an increasingly cashless society, as well as helping vendors to stay connected to loved ones and get access to key services.”

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