The final recommendations have been issued by The Access to Cash Review, which calls on the Government, regulators and banks to act now or take the risk of leaving millions behind. The recommendations clarify that digital payments will not work for everyone and around eight million adults (17% of the population) will have trouble to cope in a cashless society.
As reported by the review, it has been stated that cash is only used for three in every ten transactions, it has gone down from six in ten a decade ago. It has been predicted to fall as low as one in ten transactions within the next 15 years. There has been a massive burden on the UK’s cash infrastructure that has been placed by the change from cash towards digital payments. In addition to this, it takes around £5billion a year to run the UK’s cash infrastructure. Many more bank branches and ATMs are constantly closing which causes the economics of handling and accepting cash to lead to a greater number of retailers going cashless. Due to these factors, the review states to be cautious against leaving access to cash to market forces and encourages the government and financial services regulators to act to guarantee cash remains viable for as long as people need it.
The review allocated proof from more than 120 organisations from all types of business such as retail, leisure, financial, charity and business sectors. It has also been travelling the country, to obtain more evidence from thousands of different sources that includes workshops in places including Shetland, Porthmadog and Bournemouth to understand the present needs of consumers and groups across the UK. The review also travelled to Sweden and China to understand the lessons from there.
The temporary report ‘Is Britain ready to go cashless’, the review calculated approximately eight million people who will be left behind. The panel will meet again in September to discuss the impact of the Review and to assess whether further action is necessary.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
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