FCA Insight - Who benefits from the shift away from cash?

As more and more outlets go cashless, concern is growing about the individuals and small firms who rely on notes and coins every day. The FCA’s own recent Sector Views highlighted access to cash one of its concerns for the year ahead. In this article, guest author Rachel Statham from the IPPR makes the case for swift action from both policymakers and regulators.

Last month, my local coffee shop announced it was going cashless. With over 75% of current payments made digitally – by card, mobile wallet or other payment device – the costs of cash handling were seen to offset the gains of retaining the hard core of cash users. While this change might not make a huge amount of difference to me, for those that still prefer or rely on cash to make payments, the shift away from cash presents a more threatening spectre.

Now, with the Coronavirus outbreak reshaping every area of economic life, we should be particularly wary of a rush away from cash that could leave some even more vulnerable. 

Card payments overtook cash for the first time in 2018, and forecasts suggest fewer than 1 in 10 payments will be made using cash by 2028. But what’s driving this trend goes beyond changing consumer preference and has significant implications for who holds power in the UK economy. 

Read more here: https://www.fca.org.uk/insight/who-benefits-shift-away-cash