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UK not ready to go cashless yet

Posted on in Business News

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) welcomed the latest findings from the Access to Cash Review suggesting that the UK isn't ready to go cashless just yet.

The Access to Cash Review highlights how there is an overall decline in the use of cash across the UK, coupled with a fall in ATM use and the increase in businesses becoming cashless.


Key findings from the report shows that:

  • Over the last 10 years, cash payments have dropped from 63% of all payments to 34%, with the figure projected to fall to 16% by 2027.
  • The number of LINK ATM cash withdrawals for the year to November is down over 5% in 2018, compared to the same period in 2017.
  • Despite the fall in overall cash payments, 97% of the UK population carry cash with them
  • 2.2 million people only use cash
  • 47% of the UK population believe it would be personally problematic if there was no cash in society

These findings are interesting and a reflection of a divide between the UK's public.

There are both concerns and positive responses to the idea of going cashless, with some of the concerns raising fundamental and crucial questions.

Cash today is still an integral part of society much like the UK's high streets are. Although cash is becoming more and more redundant on the day to day it started at the epicentre of society and it will remain there. Without access to ATMs the public will struggle to find a balance between card payments and the need for cash. There will always be those restaurants and beauty salons that are cash only, causing issues and barriers when customers need to access cash. What about the convenience stores that hold minimum card charges? Does this mean that every time you pop into one you need to collect £5 worth of product before being able to pick up that one item you wanted?

The notion of a 70% cashless UK is feasible and probably more or less underway today, however in agreement with the ACS, a cashless society leads to more issues than solutions.

ActSmart provides two solutions to the rising importance of being able to accept card payments; Global Payments for established businesses with medium to high card turnover and Paya Card Services for new and smaller businesses with lower card volumes.


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