The move follows a year-long trial with Lloyds Bank and comes in a general context of increasing consumer dissatisfaction as the closure of bank branches and ATMs is creating bank deserts in small towns and villages. This turn threatens High Street businesses.
This represents a radical turnaround for a company which, in 2017, in the US, offered to pay restaurants if they pledged to refuse cash. The New York City Council voted in favor of a bill last Thursday prohibiting businesses from refusing cash, becoming the third city after Philadelphia and San Francisco to introduce such policies in the last year as governments work to help more financially vulnerable people participate in local economies.
We know that cash still plays a vital part in the lives of many.
Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa, said: “We know that cash still plays a vital part in the lives of many. This is why we want to help increase the number of options that people have to gain access to cash, helping to extend financial inclusion by enabling customers to choose how they pay – be that by cash, cards, mobile devices or other means. We also hope our scheme will encourage people in the target areas to visit their local shops at a challenging time for retailers.”
The scheme aims to increase the number of locations where cashback is offered. While cashback has been available in the UK since 1990, Visa has seen the volume of transactions declining across the country in recent years. As an incentive, shops will earn 20p each time they provide cashback.
Mastercard has already announced plans to offer UK retailers a fee for processing cashback transactions over the counter.