An unhoused man in Toronto surprised a passerby with his request for money—by having a handheld credit and debit card reader at the ready.
TikToker @6ixbuzztv captured the interaction in a clip posted on Wednesday that has drawn more than 1.8 million views in two days.
It showed a presumably unhoused man with a card reader in his hand, claiming it allows for a “$2 tap” to make a donation.
The on-screen caption clarifies a bit more of the story. It reads, “Told him I had no cash and this homeless person pulled out a debit machine.”
The creator then assessed, “Toronto isn’t a real place.”
@6ixbuzztv Only in Toronto 😭😭😭😭 #6ixbuzz #6ixbuzztv #canada #toronto #fyp ♬ original sound – 6ixbuzzTV
Commenters were skeptical about the machine in the man’s hand.
“I would never put my card in that machine,” one said.
Another predicted, “You put your card in that machine they’ll take a lot more than a few dollars.”
“That is not a 2$ tap,” someone else guessed.
“I was just saying the other [day] that it would be so wild if a homeless person pulled out a square reader lmaooo,” another observed.
However, in an increasingly cashless society, that’s not unheard of at all.
In fact, a CBC article dating back to 2016 covered a Detroit man who used a donated smartphone with a Square reader to process donations from people he was able to persuade to give him money.
That was co-signed by one person who responded to the commenter who made the Square reader remark. That person shared, “When I was homeless I actually did have a square reader but it was a coincidence bc I had been working as an artist. never thought to do this tho.”
Someone responded to that, “I mean totally valid for that reason, and tbfh I respect the grind for anyone on the streets.”
And that’s not the only way an increasingly cashless society is affecting people wondering if you can “spare a dime.” A 2018 Guardian article explored how charities needed to better adapt to fewer people having cash to donate. Ian McIntosh, a sociologist with the University of Stirling, said in the article, “I think the convenience factor of contactless could see a rise in giving, but I do not think this will overcome the range of reasons people have for not giving.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok direct message.