Going cashless could cause millions to struggle

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Going cashless could cause millions to struggle

A new report has found that up to ten million people in the UK would struggle if the country became a cashless society.

Although only 17 per cent of payments are now made with cash, the Cash Consensus report states that 15 million people would find a cashless society a “major inconvenience”.

More and more bank branches have closed in recent years as cash payments are replaced with card, contactless and online payments.

The report found that almost half of the population believed a cashless society would be “problematic”, with a quarter of the population using cash for budgeting.

The constituencies of Liverpool Walton and Bradford South had the smallest decline in cash withdrawals, and were among the most deprived in the UK, it said.

One in five people, roughly ten million people, said they would struggle to cope without cash.

The report also found that, in contrast to those dependent on cash, there were another 11 million people who strongly preferred digital payments and saw no benefit in using cash.

Some recommendations in the latest RSA report include legislation to ensure everyone has access to cash near their home, payment in cash must be accepted for essential services such as school dinners and council tax bills, digital money lessons should be taught from primary school level onwards
and that no region should miss out on the roll-out of broadband.

The government is legislating to give the Financial Conduct Authority oversight of access to cash.

It has also paved the way for more convenience stores to offer cashback to customers, even if they are not making a purchase.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.