New lobby group formed with mission to ensure consumers can continue to use cash on the high street
A new lobby group has been formed with a mission to ensure consumers can continue to use cash on the high street.
The launch of the Cash Supply Alliance comes as the contactless payment limit has just jumped from £45 to £100 – and an increasing number of retailers refuse to accept cash payments.
Access to cash is also being made more difficult by the continued closure of bank branches and ATMs.
Struggle: The launch of the Cash Supply Alliance comes as the contactless payment limit has jumped – and an increasing number of retailers refuse to accept cash payments
Last week, Lloyds Bank said it would be shutting another 48 branches early next year as a result of declining usage. Backed by a number of companies involved in the cash supply chain – the likes of the Post Office and cash handling business Loomis – the new organisation wants to help secure the future of cash.
It will press for all retailers to be required to accept cash as a payment method – up to the new contactless limit of £100.
It will also lobby for bank-owned ATMs to accept deposits from all small businesses and individuals, irrespective of whether they are customers or not. In addition, the group is trying to persuade MPs to set up an all-party parliamentary group focused on access to cash.
Last week, many MPs acknowledged the importance of cash in a Westminster Hall debate.
The group’s intervention comes as the Government contemplates what legislation it needs to introduce in order to safeguard access to cash.
Legislation was promised by Chancellor Rishi Sunak just before the pandemic, but so far the only measure the Government has instigated is enabling people to obtain a cashback from a retailer without having to make a purchase. On Friday, Nigel Constable, chair of the Cash Supply Alliance, said: ‘Our focus will be centred on choice – that is, the freedom to use cash. Access to cash should be widely available.’
The Mail on Sunday has long campaigned to maintain cash on the high street. Our ‘Keep Our Cash’ campaign calls for every town to have a free-to-use ATM, and for the setting up of a national network of shared bank branches in conurbations where all the banks have already abandoned the high street.