Cash use was projected to be less than 10% of transactions by 2028 even before COVID-19. The WHO says we should try to avoid it. But is this realistic? Or even right? Can the UK go Compulsory Contactless
Some people say using cash helps them to budget. Others do not have bank accounts. Or debit and credit cards. So can we really advocate a totally cashless society?
Consumers have been avoiding using cash since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
Even before it, a 2019 UK finance report estimated that cash would account for only 9% of all payments by 2028. But now, ATM usage has indicated that the use of cash has reduced by over 50% in recent weeks.
Then the WHO also suggested that we should avoid cash for health reasons, so you may think that cash’s days are numbered.
But many industry experts believe that cash is a necessary part of a healthy and functioning economy. Some simply cannot get a bank account, and therefore a contactless method of payment.
With things as they are there may well also be a surge in demand for casual employment as people struggle to make ends meet. We cannot ostracise people who do whatever is needed to feed their family from being able to buy essential goods and services.
There have been reports of some retailers refusing to take cash as a form of payment. Across the world, the refusal of cash has warranted guidance from regulators.
On March 18, the Bank of Canada issued a statement asking retailers to continue accepting cash following reports of retailers only accepting card payment.
Personally, I feel that the UK government or FCA should do the same.