Day 5 in Shetland was more ‘cashfree’ than ‘cashless’ – coast walking at the top of Yell and not one shop or cafe to spend any money (cash or cashless).
So far my ‘Cashless In Shetland’ experiment is suggesting that these islands can be almost as cashless as the UK mainland if you want.
However, one aspect that is just as challenging is the Post Office – providing cashless payment friction wherever you are in the UK.
At the (wonderful) Bigton Community Shop Post Office services are cashless but all other purchases have a cashless £5 minimum spend.
At the Baltasound Post Office (the most northerly PO in the UK) I can buy a stamp cashless but the postcard to stick the stamp on is cash only!
It’s just the same back in Suffolk where (at the same counter) I have to use one debit card machine to buy a stamp and a second machine to buy an envelope.
That said, not as bad as my local Post Office in Essex where till 1 is for any post office service and is cashless, till 2 is for some post office service (cashless) and anything other purchase with cash and till 3 is anything non post office cashless. So it’s till 1 or 2 for a stamp and then till 3 for my (cashless) copy of the Maldon & Burnham Standard – also the debit card machine is so slow you can finish reading the paper before the payment is authorised.
A universal price for a postage stage is much to treasure but cashless payments at the Post Office need not be so full of friction.