Six months cashless and its a breeze!

If you want to be cashless in the UK you will find that there is very little to stop you and, based on my experience, cashless payments remove so much hassle when paying for stuff.

Six months in and very few cash challenges remain – my cash only payments still to crack are ‘pay and display’ parking machines, tips in restaurants, takeaways, car washes, charity cake sales and a pound coin to use a supermarket trolley!

The ‘levy on the lavvy’ for using public toilets is a challenge for those that don’t carry cash although more and more councils are adding contactless payment options.

Perhaps over the next six months I will find solutions for these final cashless challenges.

It is not personal, I have nothing against cash itself it is just that cashless options are much more practical.

The UK appears to be on the cusp of a cashless revolution, the volumes and values of cash transactions from LINK’s ATM machines have fallen during the first few weeks of 2019 – it remains to be seen whether this trend continues.

David Hensley of Cash Services UK makes a good point:

“People aren’t falling out of love with cash, they are falling in love with digital payments, we need to cater for the differences”

My six month cashless experiment has taught me a lot:

– the debate is not really about cashless vs cash. Consumers should be able to choose from a broad range of cash and cashless choices. I am sure cashless transactions will ultimately prevail but it must be at the pace adopted by the consumer.

– allowing the UK to drift into a cashless society is dangerous, there is a need for a clear and co-ordinated plan to transition to cashless. Any plan must be inclusive, accessible and not dilute the progress on financial inclusion that has been achieved.

– the benefits of cashless will be realised by purposeful and not accidental actions.

– sometimes simple solutions are the most effective. Contactless giving for London’s homeless via donation points in offices and banks incentivising retailers to offer cash back are two examples.

– with bank branches closing and ATM’s being removed the role of the Post Office in providing cash is ever more important but perhaps retailers should be allowed to provide cash without the need for a purchase?

– the £30 contactless limit is impacting the progress of cashless transactions, this limit means that UK languishes in 13th place globally.

– being cashless need not impact charitable giving, there is a significant difference between pennies in a tin and a meaningful contactless couple of quid or an ongoing donation by Direct Debit.

– ApplePay limits at different retailers are confusing, limitless transactions are slowly becoming the norm although one of the largest UK supermarkets remains stuck with a £30 limit.

Chip and Pin became a teenager on Valentines Day – imagine the progress cashless will make in just 1 year let alone 13.

Each Saturday I post a Tweet (@_mike_chambers_) about my cashless experience, hopefully very soon I will find myself 100% cashless – I’ve got pretty close after six months and I’m on a mission to become 100%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.