UK Finance launches cash initiative, calls for bigtech collaboration
UK Finance has launched the Community Access to Cash Initiative to identify and secure convenient access to cash and payment services.
The initiative will also pave the way to improved cash recycling, better access to digital alternatives and increasing engagement of key technology partners.
Chief executive of UK Finance Stephen Jones says it’s “vital” that the initiative is supported by other sectors such as telecoms, retailors and infrastructure providers to achieve “a resilient and sustainable cash landscape”.
On 30 August ATM provider Link pledged to make funding available to secure free cash access for every high-street in the UK where free-to-use ATMs or Post Office counters are not available.
In support of the Access to Cash Review led by Natalie Ceeney CBE and sponsored by Link, UK Finance has also published its ‘UK Cash & Cash Machines 2019’ report which says the average number of cash payments made by an adult each month is 17, overtaken by 28 card payments.
Payment Systems Regulator’s MD Chris Hemsley says the initiative is showing the first steps towards “a comprehensive community engagement scheme” applied across the UK which allows local communities to raise problems with access to cash.
Hemsley says it’s “essential” that banks and payment providers still serve the needs of cash-paying customers, especially if they want to serve the diverse needs of communities throughout the UK.
Free access to cash is translated by Link and Finance UK as being a free-to-use cash withdrawal service within one kilometre of the “weighted mid-point” of the retail centre.
City minister John Glen acknowledges that “with 11 billion payments made in cash last year we know that access remains a critical issue for many”. Glen hopes the UK population will be able to take advantage of the digital innovations which are giving us greater control over our finances.
Looking into pertinent issues such as the digitally-excluded elderly, UK Finance is working with HM Treasury, Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), Innovate Finance, Natalie Ceeney CBE and consumer group representatives to solve payment needs through an “iterative innovation process”.