Coronavirus: Is this the end of physical cash? Will we go completely electronic?

Bald Rick

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I suspect there is a strong north south divide on this, and would be surprised if there aren't already card-only pubs in London.
There are. Plenty. Some intentionally, most because very few people in central London use cash in pubs now, apart from tourists (some of which are domestic).
 
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Meerkat

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As soon as I see a “cash only” sign on a premises I assume they are about to go bust so the card companies won’t deal with them any more
 

johnnychips

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I've only once in my whole 40 years not been able to pay by card in a supermarket, it was during a power cut when they stayed open (they wanted to sell stuff because of the risk of spoilage of frozen/chilled food) and estimated the value of trolleys/baskets, cash only.

It wouldn't to be fair be hard to do the same thing with old-fashioned manual card machines or Stripe on mobile phones or whatever.
This happened at Morrison’s in Bramley near Rotherham a year ago. Staff advised customers to use the cash machine outside so they would be able to pay.

Meanwhile, having moved to Sheffield from cosmopolitan Doncaster, I am surprised at the amount of businesses - mainly food - that only accept cash. Of course they’re all closed now anyway.
 

island

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As soon as I see a “cash only” sign on a premises I assume they are about to go bust so the card companies won’t deal with them any more
Other reasons may include Luddism, tax evasion, and a mistaken belief that card acceptance is “ridiculously expensive”.
 

Bletchleyite

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Other reasons may include Luddism, tax evasion, and a mistaken belief that card acceptance is “ridiculously expensive”.
Or a complete lack of understanding of how expensive cash processing actually is. That said, you only really get that saving when you stop accepting cash completely, because if you accept any you've still got the bank trip etc.

FWIW another common reason is that the business owners come from another country which is more of a cash culture, e.g. eastern Europe, and that's just what they're used to. The UK has long led the way in card acceptance, alongside France with their very early Chip & PIN system and the Dutch with their magstripe based PINpas.
 

Bald Rick

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Or a complete lack of understanding of how expensive cash processing actually is. That said, you only really get that saving when you stop accepting cash completely, because if you accept any you've still got the bank trip etc.

FWIW another common reason is that the business owners come from another country which is more of a cash culture, e.g. eastern Europe, and that's just what they're used to. The UK has long led the way in card acceptance, alongside France with their very early Chip & PIN system and the Dutch with their magstripe based PINpas.
My mum was running a cashless system in a staff canteen 33 years ago. Mag stripe stored value, with ‘recharge’ direct from salary deductions.
 

Meerkat

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I believe Fleetwood Town FC are now going 'cashless' in everything it does(tickets, bars, shop etc).
Football clubs do it because they don’t trust the thieving hands of temporary gate/sales staff, usually based on prior pain.
Of course some football clubs have to take cash as otherwise they couldn’t account for the bags full of cash that the owner brings in.......
 

Dai Corner

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Or a complete lack of understanding of how expensive cash processing actually is. That said, you only really get that saving when you stop accepting cash completely, because if you accept any you've still got the bank trip etc.
Though if you can reduce how much cash you take you can make a saving by only banking, say, once a week instead of every day. Especially if your bank is in the next town, the branch in the the next street having closed.


My mum was running a cashless system in a staff canteen 33 years ago. Mag stripe stored value, with ‘recharge’ direct from salary deductions.
Mine too, though in a school. The children paid their dinner money once a week or less frequently by cash or cheque and used cards in the canteen.
 

Bletchleyite

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Mine too, though in a school. The children paid their dinner money once a week or less frequently by cash or cheque and used cards in the canteen.
That sort of thing could of course be done with paper vouchers if kept simple - no need for electronics! Though I suppose you could argue that paper vouchers are sort-of cash, but they do minimise many of the downsides of actual cash even so - for instance there's not a lot of point in the school bully stealing a dated lunch voucher from Walter the Softy because he's already got his own, he isn't going to want two lots of manky school dinner on the same day nor is anyone else. And of course he can't just spend it on sweets then, either.
 

Dai Corner

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That sort of thing could of course be done with paper vouchers if kept simple - no need for electronics! Though I suppose you could argue that paper vouchers are sort-of cash, but they do minimise many of the downsides of actual cash even so - for instance there's not a lot of point in the school bully stealing a dated lunch voucher from Walter the Softy because he's already got his own, he isn't going to want two lots of manky school dinner on the same day nor is anyone else. And of course he can't just spend it on sweets then, either.
I should have said it was a piece of card which had a hole punched in it against the date for each meal served, not an electronic one.

One of my last jobs before I retired was to deploy a modern version in another school canteen. Parents top up online and can view what their children ate (or rather what they bought).
 

Meerkat

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Mine too, though in a school. The children paid their dinner money once a week or less frequently by cash or cheque and used cards in the canteen.
One of the reasons for doing it in schools is to hide the stigma of free school meals - you can’t easily see how the money got on the card
 

Dai Corner

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One of the reasons for doing it in schools is to hide the stigma of free school meals - you can’t easily see how the money got on the card
Indeed. My primary school hid it well and we kids had no idea who was paying and who wasn't. My first secondary school didn't.
 

Bald Rick

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Mine too, though in a school. The children paid their dinner money once a week or less frequently by cash or cheque and used cards in the canteen.
There was no cash involved in the system my mum operated, indeed no facility for it to be involved. This was about 1986, and it was all electronic / computerised.


One of the reasons for doing it in schools is to hide the stigma of free school meals - you can’t easily see how the money got on the card
The main reason is so that the little darlings don’t skip lunch, pocket the money and spend it at the local shop instead. It also significantly helps schools with their banking - my daughter’s secondary school is effectively cash free.
 

Meerkat

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The main reason is so that the little darlings don’t skip lunch, pocket the money and spend it at the local shop instead. It also significantly helps schools with their banking - my daughter’s secondary school is effectively cash free.
Kids of today eh! We would never have gone out to have a lunch of chips and Jaffa cakes, oh no.
 

Hadders

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Almost all Premiership Rugby grounds are cashless. Bars, catering, programmes. People moaned when it first started but imho it's far quicker, safer and more secure now that everyone's adapted.

I often visit depots around the country as part of my work. If I go to the canteen and buy lunch at a depot and pay with cash I tend to get a 'look' from the person serving me, practically everyone pays by card.

On the other hand go to the canteen at a depot in the North West and pay by card and you get a 'look' from the person serving as most pay by cash.

There's a big north:south divide but it's closing.
 

PG

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I've made decision to go cash free from now.
Been around the house and found all lose change to sum of £19.56 minus £3 in old pound coins to pay into bank. Will try nevr to need to use cask again given phone or card can be used to pay for most things these days
FWIW you can still pay old pound coins in to your own bank account.
 

island

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or just get a Revolut card which is free and charges no fees.
Wouldn’t recommend that, there’s fees for the card, fees for replacement cards, fees to use ATMs (beyond £200 a month), nagging to sign up to their monthly subscription, and Revolut’s not a proper bank so the money’s not covered by the FSCS.
 

Bletchleyite

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Wouldn’t recommend that, there’s fees for the card, fees for replacement cards, fees to use ATMs (beyond £200 a month), nagging to sign up to their monthly subscription, and Revolut’s not a proper bank so the money’s not covered by the FSCS.
If you don't like Monzo there's Starling (or vice versa) - both are pretty much the same thing and both are "proper" banks.
 

Ianigsy

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Within ten minutes' walk of my front door, there are two chip shops. One is now card only and the other is cash only. See the problem there? Particularly if you're down to your last £10 in the bank.
 

Bletchleyite

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Within ten minutes' walk of my front door, there are two chip shops. One is now card only and the other is cash only. See the problem there? Particularly if you're down to your last £10 in the bank.
If you're down to your last £10 in the bank, getting a takeaway is probably a really, really stupid thing to do; you'd be better buying a loaf of bread and a few tins of value beans, or a bag of pasta and some cheap sauce or tinned tomatoes.
 

sheff1

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Within ten minutes' walk of my front door, there are two chip shops. One is now card only and the other is cash only. See the problem there?
I only see a problem if the shop which accepts your chosen payment method sells food of inferior quality.
 

SteveP29

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Mine too, though in a school. The children paid their dinner money once a week or less frequently by cash or cheque and used cards in the canteen.
We used to line up at morning break time on a Monday to buy our dinner tickets for the week.
As first years we were always nervous that somebody else was either going to take your money or tickets, so you'd end up starving during the day that week. Times were such that parents wouldn't have given you more money (more or less the whole town I grew up in were still recovering from the year long strike at the Caterpillar factory and indeed, it would close in my first year at Comprehensive) and the school wouldn't provide a meal without a ticket.
The school teachers strike of 1985 meant school meals stopped and we either went home for a sandwich and bag of crisps or the lucky ones were given money to go to Greggs or Peters, Presto or the chippy

If you're down to your last £10 in the bank, getting a takeaway is probably a really, really stupid thing to do; you'd be better buying a loaf of bread and a few tins of value beans, or a bag of pasta and some cheap sauce or tinned tomatoes.
That is the correct answer, there's at least 6 meals in that
 

Qwerty133

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Football clubs do it because they don’t trust the thieving hands of temporary gate/sales staff, usually based on prior pain.
That experience can be expanded to any sport that has a sizable number of staff working through agencies or on zero hours contracts. In my experience such staff start on the alcohol if there is no cash available to take, or realise the cash is being monitored.
 

Meerkat

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That experience can be expanded to any sport that has a sizable number of staff working through agencies or on zero hours contracts. In my experience such staff start on the alcohol if there is no cash available to take, or realise the cash is being monitored.
It doesn’t matter if you employ them yourself - some people are just bent and more just can’t resist the temptation
 

Bletchleyite

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Well, I've just spent some cash for the first time in about 5 weeks. Ironically...it was in the vending machine in a hospital waiting room. The machine had a contactless device but it was not working.
 

londiscape

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A key benefit of cash is the lack of an electronic trail showing what one has bought and where. In a card-only system where details of every transaction are recorded, this just offers one more set of data footprints that can be analyzed to profile us.

If one wants to access credit products from a bank, the only data that should be relevant is how much income is received every month, and how much expenditure goes out. It is of no business of the bank what that expenditure is spent on. I for one will resist any scenario where a daily transaction profile can be data mined to feed some algorithm which decides creditworthiness based on purported calculated lifestyle.

For example, say one has income of £1,000 per week and expenditure of £500 per week - would be a good position to be in if applying for mortgage, long term loan etc, right? Yet if one's bank knows that part of that £500 includes 6 transactions of £4.90 every night, every half hour, between 6pm and 9pm in a pub, it's not hard for an algorithm to conclude one drinks 6 pints per night (substitute normal cost of beer in local pub area), probably alone (as one isn't buying rounds) therefore comes to conclusion that one is an alcoholic. Bang - no credit for you (or punitively increased interest rates).

Alternatively, just draw £30 out of the cashpoint every day and one could be buying either booze or vitamin supplements - you only record total expenditure and no algorithm is the wiser.

This of course leaves alone the question of whether one trusts one's bank to keep your transaction log private and not sell/leak to other companies - sorry, I mean share the data for legitimate purposes with partner organizations...
 

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