Daily Express


- SIMON YOUEL Head of Policy, Positive Money

DESPITE what the banks and card companies want you to believe, the closure of free ATMs across the country has had little to do with changing consumer behaviour. In fact, demand for cash has reached record highs in recent years.

These closures are instead the result of a war on cash being waged by banks who have lobbied to reduce the amount they pay to maintain Britain’s ATM network, as well as card companies who stand to make huge profits from the demise of notes and coins.

Worryingly, with the Covid-19 pandemic this war on cash is now being fought on two fronts. Not only are people finding it harder to withdraw cash, but they are also finding it harder to use it, with many retailers insisting that people pay via card.This is despite scientific evidence showing that cash poses no particular risk of virus transmissi­on, and that banknotes may actually be safer than frequently touched surfaces such as card terminals.

Cash is the preferred means of payment for millions in the UK, and paying by card is not an option for many. How can these people pay for the things they need to survive if shops refuse to take cash?

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