New trials planned for affected communities

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The Hay-on-Wye, home of a major book festival, is an area that will hold a trial


Eight sites across the UK, including an army barracks, were selected for testing to help resolve access to cash flow problems.

The organizers hope they will shed light on the debate over the future of cash in the UK, especially for those who trust it.

Community Access to the Pilot Cash will test new subsidized, ATMs and local cash deposit centers for retailers.

It comes as a new forecast suggests usage cash will fall faster in the UK than in much of Europe.

Millions still need cash “

The plan for the tests was drawn up in the light of a major warning that the country is “sleepwalking” into becoming a cashless society.

He concluded that eight million people in the UK rely on banknotes and coins, ranging from those without a bank account to people who aren’t comfortable with digital payments.

This work was led by Natalie Ceeney, who is also in charge of pilot projects.

“Over the past decade, we’ve seen a massive cash flow shift for digital payments, and Covid-19 has accelerated this trend further. But we know that digital payments don’t work for everyone yet, and for many individuals and communities, cash remains essential, “she said.

“But the world is changing – we can’t just magically return from our old bank branch and ATM infrastructure. Instead, we need to use innovation to develop new solutions as well as harnesses proven approaches to meet the needs of the people. “

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Image caption

Cash from machine use dropped during the coronavirus outbreak


Some of the locations selected are remote communities, such as the village of Botton, North Yorkshire, and Lulworth, a military barracks camp, in Dorset km closest to the money machine.

Small towns with thousands of residents who have seen bank branches or ATMs disappear are also included, such as Ampthill in Bedfordshire, with Rochford, Essex, Denny near Falkirk, and Cambuslang in Lanarkshire .

Burslem, in Staffordshire, is also on the list, it’s like the Hay-on-Wye, which has a large number of bookstores and other small businesses with no bank deposit and bank branches. rooms.

Banks were urged to pay for pilots, try new ideas like shared branches, more cashback in stores, as well as improved bus services to allow people to visit surviving branches.

Stephen Jones, chief executive officer of UK Finance, who represents the banks, said the sector was “committed to ensuring that access to money remains free and accessible to those who need it “

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The coronavirus epidemic has accelerated the decline in cash used by many people. A recent survey by Link, which oversees the UK’s network cash machine, suggested that 75% of people had used less money during the lockdown.

A new forecast by consultants from Accenture claimed that cash flow from use in the UK would be a 40% drop this year compared to 2019 – a rapid 30% drop in fall predicted value in the main economies of Europe.

Sulabh Agarwal of Accenture said: “One of the main challenges for [retailers] will be how to process the payment. While the decline in cash flow in the UK is not new, there is little doubt that solitary confinement and measures of social distance have driven consumers who generally rely on cash in payments digital. ”

Gareth Shaw of consumer organization Which? Said, “With the checkout system pushed to the brink of collapse by the emerging coronavirus, it is clear that new solutions are desperately needed to secure access to the population and the ability to pay with cash, millions of people still depend on their primary means of payment. ”

The results of the pilots will be published in early 2021.

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