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U.K. Retailers, Consumers, and Banks Commit to Access to Cash

Categories : Cash ensures competition among payment instruments, Cash is available to all users
May 13, 2021
Tags : Access to cash, Consumers, Retailers, United Kingdom
Big and small retailers around the UK have made a public commitment to accept cash as a method of payment by signing up to the Which? Cash Friendly pledge. Meanwhile, banks commit to supporting access to cash.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

Retailers Sign the Cash-Friendly Pledge

As of May 12, 84 businesses representing thousands of supermarkets and shops around the UK, including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, John Lewis, Lloyds Pharmacy, and Waitrose, have all made the public commitment to continue accepting cash in their stores. Together, the supermarkets are responsible for almost 4,500 outlets in the UK and have a combined grocery market share of more than 30%.

The Which? pledge has also been backed by leading retail associations that represent tens of thousands of shops across the country. The British Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores, and the British Independent Retailers Association encourage their members to sign up. The Federation of Small Businesses is also promoting the scheme to members that want to maintain access to cash for their customers.

The initiative has also received support from the Bank of England. Chief cashier Sarah John says: “By signing up to this pledge, businesses are helping to ensure that everyone in the UK is able to use the form of payment that best meets their needs.”

Which? research estimates that around 10 million consumers are unready or unable to give up cash while over 2.5 million are reliant on it for every transaction. In addition, 34% of consumers reported being unable to pay with cash at least once since the government first introduced coronavirus restrictions. Which? has been campaigning for over two years to protect the cash infrastructure for consumers who need it.

Consumers Petition for Access to Cash

The campaign includes a logo for cash-friendly businesses and a petition calling for the government to guarantee access to cash by legislation. There are currently 179,695 signatories for an objective of 250,000.

"Whenever you see this logo, you'll know they accept cash" says Which?

Anabel Hoult, Which? Chief Executive says: “The government announced it would legislate to protect access to cash more than a year ago. Now it must set out when this will be introduced and explain its long-term plan to protect cash for as long as people need it.”

Eight Banks Commit to Preserve Access to Cash

Meanwhile, UK Finance, the banking lobby, has announced that eight retail banks and building societies have made five commitments to continue to preserve access to cash for consumers and businesses over the long term. Signatories include Barclays Bank UK, Coventry Building Society, HSBC UK Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest Group, Santander UK, and TSB Bank.

The financial institutions commit to:

David Postings, Chief Executive at UK Finance, said: “The banking and finance industry is committed to making sure there is access to cash for those who need it as we recognise that cash is still an important way to pay for many. It is fantastic news that the government has moved swiftly to allow cashback without purchase which, alongside other initiatives, will help customers who might be less confident using other types of payments.”



This post is also available in: Spanish