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‘Click and collect’ scheme for cash being trialled in the UK

A 'click and collect' service for cash is going to be trialled in Staffordshire in order to protect people’s access to physical money.

The increasing popularity of contactless payments through smartphones and bank cards has led to reduced usage of cash machines, which are being shut down in record numbers by their operators. In the second half of 2019, almost 1,700 ATMs were closed in the UK and the pandemic that followed has encouraged even more vendors to accept contactless payments or even ban cash entirely.

However, over two million Brits are still thought to be almost entirely reliant on cash in their daily lives, particularly the elderly, vulnerable and those in rural communities.

As part of the government’s Community Access to Cash Pilot (CACP), the new 'Cash in Shop' service will be trialled in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, after previously being trialled in Switzerland.

Customers will be able to use an app to see which shops have cash available within minutes to pre-order for collection, free of charge and with no requirement to make a purchase in the shop.

The click-and-collect service involves cash management specialists Loomis and Sonect, a Swiss financial technology firm.

Those behind the scheme said the service will be particularly valuable to communities that have lost ATMs and bank branches, while participating shops will also benefit from the increased footfall and potential additional sales of goods.

Simon Wood, commercial director of Loomis UK, said: “A huge portion of society relies on cash, so we need to keep innovating to ensure we have the infrastructure to support demand.

“Cash in Shop is a fantastic initiative which matches the needs of consumers and retailers and will improve the availability of cash in the areas that need it most.”

Ron Delnevo, UK director of Sonect, said: “Burslem will be the first community in the UK to enjoy the Sonect service, from March 2021. This will bring a great start to the new year for those who live in the town and is the first stage of a national rollout which will see this new and innovative way of accessing cash made available to everyone in the UK.”

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