Organ grinders digitize their tips to rescue tradition

In Mexico there is a tradition that clings tooth and nail to avoid extinction: the organ grinders . It is difficult to imagine a Sunday afternoon down Alameda Central or Calle Madero in the Historic Center of Mexico City without the characteristic sound of these musicians, but 34 years ago the last German house that manufactured these instruments closed .

However, organiliers are being digitized by Mercado Pago with technologies such as the QR code and credit or debit cards to be able to receive their tips.

The initiative started with the participation of 17 organ grinders from Mexico City, State of Mexico, Pachuca, Tijuana and Guadalajara to face the decrease in the use of cash and the boom in digital payments caused by the pandemic .

Mercado Pago, caused by the pandemic

Image: Courtesy Mercado Pago

“We as organ grinders are very proud of our tradition and we want it to continue to be preserved because it is part of our identity as Mexicans. With the arrival of the pandemic, we realized the importance of digitizing our trade, since it has become more common for people not to carry cash, ”says Víctor Maya, organ grinder for more than 15 years. “We decided to take this step so that they can cooperate with us through their cell phones or cards with all the confidence and security,” adds Maya.

The group of musicians received training from Mercado Pago to receive tips through QR codes and Point Blue, the debit and credit card reader.

“We are very excited to know that this group of organ grinders found in our digital tools a way to reactivate their craft. We want to make technology available to everyone to generate true financial inclusion in Mexico, ”said Enrique Horcasitas, Director of Point de Mercado Pago.

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