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

philjo

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Not quite on topic, but banking-related: I need to pay in a cheque, but my local branch in Southport is closed because of staff shortage. Looking at the HSBC branch finder, I'm told that the nearest branches are in Formby and Ormskirk, both open 10-2 pm; what's more surprising is that the 3rd nearest branch is said to be in St Annes on Sea, only 8.9 miles away. Unfortunately that's a straight line distance across the Ribble estuary (and even more bizarrely, the Preston branch isn't shown).

I haven't made my mind up if a bus trip to Ormskirk on an empty bus to pay cheques in is acceptable as "essential" travel or not. The money is a bulk refund from a holiday company for a cancelled holiday in mid-Wales I organised (we should have been going today), and I need to pay it in before I can write cheques to my disappointed clients for their individual refunds. So far they are being patient.

The machines to pay cheques in at my local branch (HSBC Lord Street) are in the lobby, behind the closed outer doors, and the usual button to press to open the outer doors for admission when the branch itself is closed, is not admitting anyone at the moment. The mobile app for paying cheques in is no use, as I don't bank on line and have never owned or needed a mobile phone in my life (I'd need a spirit medium or an Ouija board to get in touch with my loved ones).
If you have your HSBC paying in book, you can deposit cheques at the Post Office.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Not cash related as such but I’m having an extended hotel stay as I’m on a NHS project away from home and obviously cutting out the commute in the circumstances, it is quite weird to literally have a full English breakfast dropped off outside my room door each morning then leaving the empty plate outside afterwards for it to magically disappear! :D
You never had room service before? That's essentially how it works in basically every full-service hotel.
 

87 027

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Someone steals £20 from you, they can only spend it once, whereas a contactless card....
Deactivate it in your banking app and it becomes useless. Even contactless transactions require online authorisation these days, otherwise they are at the merchant's risk.
 

Bletchleyite

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Deactivate it in your banking app and it becomes useless. Even contactless transactions require online authorisation these days, otherwise they are at the merchant's risk.
And even if you don't notice, your bank is required to reimburse it. And barring low value stuff like Tube travel it'll block after 6 transactions.

It is, to all intents and purposes, zero risk.
 

87 027

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It is, to all intents and purposes, zero risk.
When configured optimally Apple Pay and Google Pay are even more secure than contactless card. They tokenise the card number, so it can't be cloned, and require biometric authorisation (other than for low-value transit mode transactions)
 

Mojo

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Not quite on topic, but banking-related: I need to pay in a cheque, but my local branch in Southport is closed because of staff shortage. Looking at the HSBC branch finder, I'm told that the nearest branches are in Formby and Ormskirk, both open 10-2 pm; what's more surprising is that the 3rd nearest branch is said to be in St Annes on Sea, only 8.9 miles away. Unfortunately that's a straight line distance across the Ribble estuary (and even more bizarrely, the Preston branch isn't shown).
If you have your HSBC paying in book, you can deposit cheques at the Post Office.
You can use the HSBC App to pay in cheques from home (or wherever else you may be).

Doesn’t seem foolproof though, I tried to pay in a cheque via another bank app over the last few days, and it kept getting rejected automatically despite me doing it correctly. HSBC has accepted it though.
 

Bletchleyite

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When configured optimally Apple Pay and Google Pay are even more secure than contactless card. They tokenise the card number, so it can't be cloned, and require biometric authorisation (other than for low-value transit mode transactions)
Agreed, which is why it makes me unhappy when I find that retailers/merchants incorrectly have their terminals configured not to accept it for any amount, as for that reason (and because my phone is much quicker to get out than a card) I would prefer to use it for all transactions.
 

najaB

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Agreed, which is why it makes me unhappy when I find that retailers/merchants incorrectly have their terminals configured not to accept it for any amount
In your experience, what percentage of merchants does this affect? I've never encountered it, though I don't range nearly as far and wide as I did in my previous job.
 

Bletchleyite

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In your experience, what percentage of merchants does this affect? I've never encountered it, though I don't range nearly as far and wide as I did in my previous job.
The one that stands out is LNR's Scheidt & Bachmann TVMs. I couldn't tell you how many others, TBH. I have heard of some accepting it over £30 for Apple Pay but not Google Pay as the former is slightly more secure (though the latter is no less secure than C&P).
 

NorthernSpirit

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A lot of people in this country can barely afford to buy food and pay their bills, let alone go out and buy a basic £30 smartphone just so they can use online banking. As Jeremy Clarkson once said - what is the matter with (physical) money?
I part manage a small family run retail business and can only accept cash, as the business can barely afford to pay for a chip and pin machine considering the extortionate rate that is paid in rent. I've had customers asking if they can pay by card and I've had to say sorry its cash only - no machine.

I do imagine that £1 notes may make a comeback along with a £2 note to replace the £2 coin.
 

Bletchleyite

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I part manage a small family run retail business and can only accept cash, as the business can barely afford to pay for a chip and pin machine considering the extortionate rate that is paid in rent. I've had customers asking if they can pay by card and I've had to say sorry its cash only - no machine.
Have you seen the budget options that are connected via a smartphone? They are cheap enough that even organisations with tiny turnovers like Scout Groups can afford them.

I do imagine that £1 notes may make a comeback along with a £2 note to replace the £2 coin.
Er, why?
 

island

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I part manage a small family run retail business and can only accept cash, as the business can barely afford to pay for a chip and pin machine considering the extortionate rate that is paid in rent. I've had customers asking if they can pay by card and I've had to say sorry its cash only - no machine.
I would suggest once everything settles down that you have a look at iZettle or similar. They provide ultra-cheap card acceptance solutions; iZettle, which I have and use a few times a year at market stalls, costs just £29+VAT for the card reader, which you pair to a smartphone, and 1.75% of each transaction. I am sure tThere are no recurring costs or rental fees at all.
 

theironroad

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With businesses (including TOCs) all over the place saying that they won't take cash due to contamination risk...will they start again, or is cash now dead?
Absolutely not. Cash in some for or other, and its use, will last for hundreds more years.

I'd imagine some of the people who have so far been reluctant to tap might have realised it's not some evil and won't go back to using cash so much, but for many people having physical cash in their pocket is a way of budgeting.
 

SteveP29

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Not quite on topic, but banking-related: I need to pay in a cheque, but my local branch in Southport is closed because of staff shortage. Looking at the HSBC branch finder, I'm told that the nearest branches are in Formby and Ormskirk, both open 10-2 pm; what's more surprising is that the 3rd nearest branch is said to be in St Annes on Sea, only 8.9 miles away. Unfortunately that's a straight line distance across the Ribble estuary (and even more bizarrely, the Preston branch isn't shown).

I haven't made my mind up if a bus trip to Ormskirk on an empty bus to pay cheques in is acceptable as "essential" travel or not. The money is a bulk refund from a holiday company for a cancelled holiday in mid-Wales I organised (we should have been going today), and I need to pay it in before I can write cheques to my disappointed clients for their individual refunds. So far they are being patient.

The machines to pay cheques in at my local branch (HSBC Lord Street) are in the lobby, behind the closed outer doors, and the usual button to press to open the outer doors for admission when the branch itself is closed, is not admitting anyone at the moment. The mobile app for paying cheques in is no use, as I don't bank on line and have never owned or needed a mobile phone in my life (I'd need a spirit medium or an Ouija board to get in touch with my loved ones).
If you have paying in slips you can post the cheque and paying in slips to the branch for processing.
You can pay into any bank account at a Post Office.

You just need a debit card and the cash and ask to pay it into the account the debit card is linked to, done.
(I'm working from home during this and the one day a week I'm in the office, I am instructed to get a taxi door to door, via our company contract, so I don't know if post office are open at the minute)
 

Bletchleyite

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Absolutely not. Cash in some for or other, and its use, will last for hundreds more years.

I'd imagine some of the people who have so far been reluctant to tap might have realised it's not some evil and won't go back to using cash so much, but for many people having physical cash in their pocket is a way of budgeting.
It's a way of budgeting and was quite a useful one when you got a bank statement once a month and card transactions didn't appear for potentially weeks.

Now there's things like Monzo and Starling, it's nowhere near as good a way. Monzo has absolutely revolutionised my financial planning and budgeting.
 

Bletchleyite

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You can pay into any bank account at a Post Office.

You just need a debit card and the cash and ask to pay it into the account the debit card is linked to, done.
(I'm working from home during this and the one day a week I'm in the office, I am instructed to get a taxi door to door, via our company contract, so I don't know if post office are open at the minute)
They are, yes, but not every bank has such a deal, many if not most do though.

Quite rare to need to pay in cash though.
 

Bletchleyite

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Even if you are not worried about the (admittedly very small) risk of theft via Rfid, Rfid-proof sleeves can be used to manage/prevent 'card clash', where the wrong card is read by (e.g.) the underground barriers.
Yes, that's true, they do allow you to have only one card readable from outside so you can do what you could in the early days of Oyster, say, i.e. just put your wallet on the barriers to open them. That said, with Apple/Google Pay you can just do that with your phone now instead which is just as easy.
 

Bletchleyite

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Pedantically, Nationwide is a Building Society not a bank
It is, but in a practical sense the difference only lies in terms of how it is owned rather than how it operates, which is basically exactly the same as a bank. It's more like, say, the difference between Tesco and the Co-op, or Direct Line and NFU Mutual, than the massively different way building societies used to work.
 

NorthernSpirit

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Less coinage, lowers the risk of contamination. If notes were to replace the £1 and £2 coins you can wipe down the notes, you can't exactly with coins.

I would suggest once everything settles down that you have a look at iZettle or similar. They provide ultra-cheap card acceptance solutions; iZettle, which I have and use a few times a year at market stalls, costs just £29+VAT for the card reader, which you pair to a smartphone, and 1.75% of each transaction. I am sure there are no recurring costs or rental fees at all.
I'll have a look at that.
 

Bletchleyite

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Less coinage, lowers the risk of contamination. If notes were to replace the £1 and £2 coins you can wipe down the notes, you can't exactly with coins.
How can't you wipe down coins? You could even soak them in meths if you wanted, that'd kill it.

Though the new notes are very robust. You can, er, launder them just fine. I believe they shrink if tumble dried though!
 

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