You are here: Home - Saving & Banking - News -

Eight million Brits say cash is still a necessity

Written by:
Millions of people still rely on cash and face being left behind as the UK moves towards a cashless society, a report warns.

Despite the rapid increase in the use of cards and electronic payments, eight million Brits – 17% of the population – say cash is an economic necessity, according to the interim findings of the Access to Cash Review.

The review, which is sponsored by LINK, was set-up to establish consumer requirements for cash over the next five to 15 years.

It said the UK needs to “plan ahead, not sleepwalk” into a cashless society.

Going cashless too quickly could threaten rural communities and lead to social isolation, it added.

Other risks include rising levels of debt for those who use cash to budget, financial exploitation, and stigma towards those who rely on cash.

Cash use has halved in the past 10 years and is forecast to halve again in a decade’s time. In 2017, debit cards overtook cash as the most popular payment method for the first time.

Natalie Ceeney, independent chair of the Access to Cash Review, said: “The decline in the use of cash has been dramatic, and with rapid technology development and adoption this trend will continue. But for millions of people in the UK, cash is not a choice, it’s a necessity.

“If we don’t plan carefully for a world of lower cash, in other words, if we sleepwalk into a cashless society, millions of people will be left behind. As cash use continues to fall, we need to safeguard the use of cash for those who need it, and at the same time work hard to ensure that everyone can participate in this digital economy.”

The research shows the UK is split on whether people believe there will be a cashless future in their lifetime.

More than four-in-ten (41%) Brits believe it will happen, compared to 38% who believe it won’t.

However, all consumers acknowledge that as we stand today, there are significant risks to groups and the economy of going cashless, including 74% worrying it would take away people’s right to choose and 72% believing that vulnerable groups of people would be more likely to get scammed or defrauded.

Ben Broadbent, deputy governor for monetary policy at the Bank of England, said: “We believe it is important the public has choice in how they make payments. The UK has seen a decline in the use of cash. However, we also think that cash is likely to remain a very important part of the payments landscape for a long time.  It is true that an unmanaged decline in cash use could limit choice for people and businesses who prefer to use cash.”

The review will be publishing its policy recommendations in the New Year to government, regulators and other policy makers on what needs to be done so that no one is left behind.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

If you’ve been ‘furloughed’ by your company, here’s what it means…

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

  • What are some things to be aware of in choosing property to fund your retirement? Find out from our pension special…
  • RT @Defaqto: With many nervous about taking an overseas trip, Brits are booking up holidays closer to home. But should you buy travel insur…
  • RT @Defaqto: With many nervous about taking an overseas trip, Brits are booking up holidays closer to home. But should you buy travel insur…

Read previous post:
New rules to stop firms ripping off loyal customers

The competition watchdog has announced a package of reforms to stop firms penalising loyal customers.