Ever fancied treating yourself to a donkey ride at Blackpool beach but realised you haven’t got any change? Well not to worry...
Donkey rides along the seafront may be a long-standing tradition in the resort but one entrepreneurial owner has decided to bring his herd into the 21st century.
This weekend, for the first time, visitors to Blackpool will be able to use contactless technology to pay for their trip using their credit or debit card.
Mark Ineson, owner of Real Donkeys, is taking part in the trial that will see one of his herd, Dillon, fitted with a high tech saddle, complete with a chip and pin machine.
Fed up of losing business when families realised they had no cash on them, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
“We’re just moving with the times,” he said.
“You don’t expect to see it and I think people have been a bit surprised because they don’t know it’s available – but you can do it on buses and trains so I thought why not donkeys?”
He said a handful of customers chose to pay by card yesterday, the first day of the trial, but said he was pleased with the response he got.
Mr Ineson added: “It all worked fine.
“The majority of our work is still cash but there are still times every year when someone doesn’t have any.
“People were having to find the nearest cash machine.”
But he said he would be watching to see how popular the new method of payment is and suggested it could become more widespread on the beach next year if there is enough demand.
The state-of -the-art saddle was provided by Barclaycard and has been made so that it can be fitted to any of Mr Ineson’s 14 donkeys.
Tami Hargreaves, head of contactless at Barclaycard, said: “If we can bring contactless technology to millions of travellers across major UK cities on buses, tubes and trams, we thought that one of the world’s most ancient forms of human transport could do with a similar make-over.
“Assuming that Dillon’s pioneering approach in going cashless is a success, we could see the roll out of more contactless Donkeys everywhere next summer.”