Street performers in London will become the first to accept contactless payments.

Ed Sheeran and Stormzy

Ed Sheeran and Stormzy

Busking - the act of performing music in public on the street and in the underground stations to earn cash donations from passers-by - is encouraged in the UK capital, with artists undergoing auditions to win prime spots in the city.

Now, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has teamed up with tech company iZettle to help keep busking going in an increasingly cashless society.

In what is believed to be world first, the new Busk in London initiative provides buskers with a contactless payment device, enabling them to set a fixed amount for passers-by to donate by tapping their card.

Sadiq Khan told Sky News: "For London to maintain its status as a global capital of music, it's vitally important that we support the stars of tomorrow.

"Busking helps emerging artists to hone their talent and gives them the chance to perform in front of huge numbers of people.

"I'm delighted that iZettle has chosen London to launch this innovative scheme - allowing artists to accept donations by card payment, as well as cash.

"Now, more Londoners will be able to show their support to the capital's brilliant, talented street performers."

Global stars who began their musical careers busking on the streets of London include Ed Sheeran and Sir Rod Stewart.