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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 19/06/2019

With the growing concern over the reduction in the availability of cash and access to cash machines, the UK banking and finance industry has committed to helping local communities to identify and secure appropriate free access to cash for customers, UK Finance has revealed.

It was reported last week that one in 10 adults are already choosing to live a cashless lifestyle and that debit cards have already pushed cash to the second most popular type of payment method. With the growth of contactless and mobile payments, the trend of cashless payments is set to continue, which has made many concerned about the future availability of cash for those who need it, especially those living in rural and urban-deprived communities.

Cash still vital

While cash is in decline, it still accounted for 28% of payments during 2018 and it is forecasted that it will be used for one in 10 payments in a decade’s time, making it vital to ensure that it will be available to those who need to use cash.

Over the summer, UK Finance, a trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector, is planning to engage with consumer representatives, local authority representatives and market participants to:

  • Map the range of channels through which consumers can access cash
  • Consider the potential of a number of industry pilots already underway to deliver new options for cash provision
  • Develop an approach for how the industry could work with local authorities to help communities to identify and report gaps in cash provision
  • Develop a definition of the industry’s commitment to customers and communities in terms of the ‘appropriate provision for free access to cash’
  • Consider how this new approach could involve the creation of an independent body with responsibility for responding to access to cash representations and coordinating and facilitating appropriate industry action
  • Work with LINK, the Post Office and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to identify ways in which the existing commitments and delivery against them, can be developed and improved.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “Securing free access to cash for those who continue to need to use it is a clear shared objective – and one that Government, regulators, industry, customer groups and communities need to come together to solve. We need to take a collaborative approach to the problem and work out a shared solution. Today the banking and finance industry is setting out a clear statement of intent and a series of practical next steps to ensure that cash will remain widely accessible and free for those that need it to help manage their finances and pay for goods and services.”


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