Half way through 2019 and my blog of 1 January is proving to be quite relevant.

It’s not a theoretical debate about the merits of ‘cash’ versus ‘cashless’ but a desire to ensure that the UK has a broad mix of efficient, inclusive and accessible options for the consumer to decide how they pay for something.

Pleased to see real progress on three of my five cashless predictions already!

So what did I say on the 1st January?

Read on…..

Post from 1 January 2019:

“Consumers should be able to decide for themselves how they pay. For us, it is important to have a broad mix of options and that efficient methods for payment are available” – Burkhard Balz, Bundesbank, Germany.

2018 saw the transition towards a cashless society in the UK gather significant pace supported by a proliferation of new payment options.

However, the cashless challenge we face in 2019 is not a binary argument about ‘cash’ versus ‘cashless’ where one side will emerge a victor.

The challenge is, as Balz states, to ensure the UK has a broad mix of efficient options for the consumer to decide how they pay for something (and, I will add, that are inclusive and accessible to all).

Consumer choice is crucial and, for those that want to dispense with notes and coins, a broad range of inclusive cashless payment options are vital if the UK is to become a truly cashless society.

But is possible to be cashless in the UK in 2019?

Well, after 17 weeks (now 43 weeks) of a self imposed cashless experiment I am close to proving that it is entirely possible.

As each week passes I find easy and convenient solutions to the quickly diminishing number of cashless challenges I experience.

For example, during the past week I experienced just one near miss at the last remaining ‘minimum spend’ debit card machine in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

The solution here was not ideal as instead of purchasing from a local pharmacy I visited the East of England CO-OP with the much more enlightened policy of accepting contactless payments for any amount – even a 49p bag of potatoes.

Thankfully, a ‘minimum spend’ debit card payment policy is a rare sight and, I am sure, will become completely extinct in 2019.

As we enter 2019 there are just a few cashless solutions needed for me to get rid of cash and coins once and for all.

Also, with ApplePay perhaps I will be able to dispense with carrying a physical debit card in 2019 as well. Although there is a dependency here on retailers to not use the £30 contactless payment limit as a ‘lazy’ cap for ApplePay payments.

There are no New Year resolutions for me this year (no point) but I do have five Cashless predictions (or hopes) for 2019:

– Tesco finally removing their self imposed £30 ApplePay limit.

– The removal of the debit card ‘minimum spend’ stickers on POS machines.

– Cashless tip options in restaurants that I can be sure benefit the staff.

– Cashless solutions for charity donations.

– Cashless options from the last few predominantly ‘cash only’ retailers like dry cleaners, car wash and take aways.

Oh, and the end of needing a £1 coin to use a supermarket trolley.

It’s not a theoretical debate about the merits of ‘cash’ versus ‘contactless’ but a desire to ensure that the UK has a broad mix of efficient, inclusive and accessible options for the consumer to decide how they pay for something.

As an advocate of a planned and inclusive cashless society in the UK based on real consumer choice I will try and iron out some of the challenges along the way with my personal cashless challenge.

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