Don’t think of it as going cashless, think of it as an upgrade to the 21st Century

August marks another cashless year for me, you may remember my last anniversary blog “Don’t think of it as going cashless, think of it as an upgrade to the 21st Century”

You’ll see that this time last year I set myself two key challenges – to banish the paper receipt and maximise the use of frictionless payments – which I have managed to make much progress on.

Also, last year I felt that we were on the cusp of not needing to carry a physical card, with ‘limitless’ Apple Pay now being almost ubiquitous I have finally stopped carrying a card with me.

Although there remains some way to go there has been much progress over the past twelve months (accelerated by merchants response to COVID19) towards a cashless society where digital payments options are inclusive, accessible and equitable.

As the UK moves to a more digital (cashless) society I recently published eight base principles on the topic of access to cash, engaging with the industry and supporting the evolving regulatory approach:

1: Consumers should be able to decide for themselves how they pay.

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.

2: The issues of ‘access to cash’ and the ‘acceptability’ of cash need to be considered in tandem.

3: To preserve cash for cash sake will ultimately only serve to leave people behind.

4: All stakeholders should focus ensuring that digital payment solutions are accessible, inclusive and equitable for all in society.

5: Given that 98% people in the UK have a debit card – we must support those who have a debit card but are reluctant or feel unable to use it and seek credible solutions for the 2% who have yet to acquire a debit card.

6: The viability and sustainability of the UK’s cash supply network needs to be addressed (perhaps through the development of a utility cash supply network).

7: Ensuring a better understanding of the end user impact and economics of the ‘pay to use’ ATM network.

8: Ensuring that branch and cash facility closure communications always include details of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

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