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CashTech: Innovations improve Access to and Acceptance of Cash

Categories : Innovation contributes to the efficiency of cash
March 10, 2021
Tags : Acceptance of cash, Access to cash, Cash cycle efficiency, Innovation
Technology and innovation are contributing to create a sustainable, future-proof and efficient cash cycle. Cash-in-shop, paying cash online, contactless cash withdrawals, low-carbon cash cycle are all part of a growing range of CashTech innovations.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

Click and Collect your Cash

In the UK, Loomis and Sonect are piloting a cash-in-shop solution. Consumers download the app, select the amount they require, and pick up the money from the local shop. Contrary to cashback solutions, consumers will not need to buy anything from the shop, and the transaction will not incur a charge. Sonect currently offers this service in Switzerland. The solution is currently being piloted in Burslem (Staffordshire) as the first stage of a national rollout. The solution could be extended further to cash deliveries with takeaways.

Paying Cash Online

In France, Brink’s is now enabling consumers to pay cash for their online shopping. The solution is straightforward. Following an online purchase, the customers access the checkout page and select “Point Cash Service” as the payment method. He receives a barcode by e-mail, which they present to one of the 1,300 tobacco shops that provide the service, either in printed format or on his phone. He pays the required amount the transaction is settled. The e-merchant receives payment by credit transfer within two working days, and Brink’s offers a guarantee in the case of theft or bankruptcy of the point-of-sale. According to the head of Brink’s France, 10% of the population does not own a payment card, and 56% are wary of fraud when they pay online. According to the recent ECB Study on the Payment Attitudes of Consumers in the Euro Area (SPACE), 4% of online transactions are paid in cash in the euro area (excluding Germany).

Contactless Cash Withdrawals

In Switzerland, Six – which operates the ATM infrastructure for the banking sector – is deploying contactless cash withdrawals throughout the ATM network. In November 2020, 36% of the ATMs were equipped with QR code readers and 20% with NFC readers, the two technologies enabling contactless withdrawals. Various banks have already implemented the QR code solution so that it is available to end customers. In 2020, the number of transactions with QR codes at ATMs rose by 269%. Concerning the NFC functionality, the banks have started an implementation project at ATMs together with SIX.

The number of ATMs that offer contactless cash withdrawals grew by 26% worldwide in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend further. Marco Menotti, Head of SIX Banking Services: “SIX is supporting the banks in this process and is taking on a coordinating role to successfully accompany the unprecedented transformation of the cash economy towards an ecosystem with an open architecture and increasingly user-centric, digitized cash services.”

Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Cash

In the UK, a broad spectrum of the cash industry, including the Bank of England, the Royal Mint, and commercial banks, retailers, cash-in-transit companies hardware suppliers, have joined forces to reduce the environmental footprint of the cash cycle. In 2020, NatWest bank established three working groups – Energy, Plastics, and Carbon – and established ambitious targets: to transition to 100% renewable energy, to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics, and to reduce carbon emissions. A charter has been created with both commitments and targets, and UK Finance, the banking and finance industry advocate, will lead this collaborative approach.

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