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

david1212

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You do get those Coinstar machines which do that though they charge about 10% commission.
With the Coinstar in my local Tesco you used to be able to use the printed voucher at the checkout. Now regardless of details on the machine you have to get cash back at Customer Services. So put in coins that total say £3.79 after commission and the fewest you can get back is £2 + £1 + 50p + 20p + 5p + 2 x 2p - rather silly.
 
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david1212

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I prefer cash since regardless of any bank guarantees there is no trace nor I can not unexpectedly and embarrassingly find my payment is blocked. It is very easy to check my statement entries as I rarely draw cash from an ATM more than twice a month. Worst case a couple of notes are stuck together and I loose £5/10/20 or get too little change returned.

Currently I am transferring £50 at a time to the debit card for an old bank account and keeping a record of payments, which with restrictions are fewer than normal. At least this way no easy link to my main accounts. Normally I only load the account either to write a cheque or for a specific payment by debit card e.g. car service.

For internet payments either direct or via Paypal I use a credit card account with a low credit limit. If I make purchases totalling near to the limit I at least part pay ahead of the monthly payment date. It has only happened once but if I want to make a purchase beyond the card limit I pay the balance plus an excess so after the purchase the account balance is within the credit limit. This ensures I can not find my main credit card has been blocked due to any unknown activity following an internet purchase.
 

Malcolmffc

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Excuse me? 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?

Your condescendence has no bounds.
The vast majority of people - including the poorest - already own a smartphone.
Plenty of problems with physical money. It is slow to use compared with contactless; is inconvenient, is a crime risk, gets lost or destroyed, etc.
 

Malcolmffc

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Is a couple of people handling a bank note or a coin really a more serious risk of contamination than hundreds of people paying by plastic touching the same keypad? This no cash thing just looks silly and counterproductive. The sort of nonsense you always get when anything at all goes awry.
with contactless they aren’t touching anything
 

Freightmaster

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The vast majority of people - including the poorest - already own a smartphone.
I don't think that's necessarily true.

I am a good example of an exception: I make my living running a website, so I am definitely tech 'savvy',
but because I work from home, I don't own a mobile phone of any description, never mind a smartphone;
and more importantly, I have never once regretted not owning one/felt tempted to buy one.

So if I can manage perfectly without a smartphone, the millions of pensioners who rarely/never use
the internet are not going to want to bother with one either.



MARK
 

Meerkat

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So if I can manage perfectly without a smartphone, the millions of pensioners who rarely/never use
the internet are not going to want to bother with one either.
what makes you think pensioners don’t use the Internet? My Dad is more savvy about it than I am!
And Certainly after lockdown has ‘forced’ many pensioners into internet shopping and Skype etc thE number who aren’t on the net is going to plummet further.
 

Dai Corner

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what makes you think pensioners don’t use the Internet? My Dad is more savvy about it than I am!
And Certainly after lockdown has ‘forced’ many pensioners into internet shopping and Skype etc thE number who aren’t on the net is going to plummet further.
My parents are both in their eighties and keen Internet users.

I've shown Dad how to use Internet banking and he's about to buy a smartphone. He particularly wants one with NFC to enable contactless payments.
 

Bletchleyite

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I am a good example of an exception: I make my living running a website, so I am definitely tech 'savvy',
but because I work from home, I don't own a mobile phone of any description, never mind a smartphone;
and more importantly, I have never once regretted not owning one/felt tempted to buy one.
You are an exception, an increasingly small one at that. There is an issue with small wilful[1] exceptions, in that they're costly to serve. There therefore comes a point where they can no longer be provided for.

[1] We provide for disabilities despite the huge cost as those people have no choice, which is different.
 

island

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I don't think that's necessarily true.

I am a good example of an exception: I make my living running a website, so I am definitely tech 'savvy',
but because I work from home, I don't own a mobile phone of any description, never mind a smartphone;
and more importantly, I have never once regretted not owning one/felt tempted to buy one.

So if I can manage perfectly without a smartphone, the millions of pensioners who rarely/never use
the internet are not going to want to bother with one either.



MARK
One counterexample does not negate a statement about “the vast majority”.
 

scotrail158713

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I don't think that's necessarily true.

I am a good example of an exception: I make my living running a website, so I am definitely tech 'savvy',
but because I work from home, I don't own a mobile phone of any description, never mind a smartphone;
and more importantly, I have never once regretted not owning one/felt tempted to buy one.

So if I can manage perfectly without a smartphone, the millions of pensioners who rarely/never use
the internet are not going to want to bother with one either.



MARK
I have to say I think you’re part of an ever increasing minority of people - there are also more pensioners with internet access than you’d think.
 

87 027

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I would love to know the stats for the number of adults in the UK without Internet access. I know precisely one.
Recent studies by Ofcom and others place the figure for digital exclusion at roughly 8%-13%. This disproportionally affects the poor, disabled and elderly. It does not mean that they cannot physically get internet necessarily, but there are other barriers to their making use of it.

The number of UK premises that cannot physically get internet via broadband or 3G/4G is around 1%-2%. (The Universal Service Obligation that kicked in this March is 10 Mbps.) Satellite is an option for the most remote locations but is currently expensive, suffers from latency and has data caps.
 
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Meerkat

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I know fewer than that!

Similarly mobile phones. I don’t know anyone over the age of 10 without at least one. Most people I know have two.
To be fair the people who don’t have either are likely to be people you don’t know - isolated old folk, people in really deprived areas, the homeless etc
 

Bald Rick

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To be fair the people who don’t have either are likely to be people you don’t know - isolated old folk, people in really deprived areas, the homeless etc
True, although I know a lot of people in their 70s and 80s. One of the latter runs an internet company!
 

MikeWh

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I would love to know the stats for the number of adults in the UK without Internet access. I know precisely one.
My wife works in a library (before they all closed) and is aware of several customers who use the computers to send and receive emails because they haven't got capability at home. We wonder how those people are coping at the moment.
 

Horizon22

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I don't think that's necessarily true.

I am a good example of an exception: I make my living running a website, so I am definitely tech 'savvy',
but because I work from home, I don't own a mobile phone of any description, never mind a smartphone;
and more importantly, I have never once regretted not owning one/felt tempted to buy one.

So if I can manage perfectly without a smartphone, the millions of pensioners who rarely/never use
the internet are not going to want to bother with one either.



MARK
This is very rare. One of my parents is a nurse in a GP surgery and people are now HAVING to utilise online and mobile phone systems for appointments / phone assessments / prescriptions who are older and have never done so before. With guidance almost everyone has had no issue with this, even the poorer and older patients. Everyone who has needed to get in touch has - although I accept this could involve landlines. I think this crisis will bring some of those wilfully utilising other methods into using more modern systems, kicking and screaming if need be.

As for cash, I don't think this will be the end, but the crisis will certainly accelerate it's decline.
 

philjo

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My Dad has never used a computer. He does not have en email address and though I bought him a basic payg mobile last year I don’t think he has switched it on since last August.
He normally withdraws cash each week from the bank counter - he rarely uses ATMs. though he does now use his debit card for larger purchases. Most bills are paid by cheque. He does not have any direct debits. He also does not own a credit card.
 

87 027

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I think there is also merit in considering the "digital inclusion" scale, which measures not just presence or absence of an internet connection, but how easy it is for individuals to interact with the various available digital services. Government attempted to measure this as part of the "digital by default" agenda back in 2014:


(The link illustrates a scale of ease/difficulty of use and shows that, in 2014, 21% were at or below minimum basic competency. The situation may have developed in the meantime but the core message remains valid.)

It's no good having a digital service available without some empathy for people who might struggle to use it without assistance. Needs must and all that, but nevertheless "digital natives" should consider those less comfortable with technology.
 
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SteveP29

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I would love to know the stats for the number of adults in the UK without Internet access. I know precisely one.
Recent studies by Ofcom and others place the figure for digital exclusion at roughly 8%-13%. This disproportionally affects the poor, disabled and elderly
I also only know 1, he's my Great Uncle, he's 84, lives in a row of 4 terraced houses on the roadside at the bottom of a valley with nothing to his left for 3 miles and nothing to his right for 4 miles.
He doesn't have a mobile as you simply can't get a signal in the house (I have to right to the top of his back garden, about 250 yards, halfway up the hillside to get one bar of signal on EE)
He does however have Sky, which is the only way to get TV without it being viewed through a Scott Of The Antarctic picture, but with no broadband, he can't get any of their On Demand services.
 

AnthonyRail

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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
 
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Cowley

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Ive made decision to go cash free from now.
Been around the house and found all the loose change to the sum of £19.56 minus £3 in old pound coins.
Lend us a tenner!
 

dgl

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Admittedly the only reason why my Gran has internet is because I pay for it and it's mainly for our benefit when we visit, she does own a tablet, a Kindle Fire HD 10, but that is more for playing scrabble than anything else, although I have taught her to use the weather and news apps. Just got to try skyping her now which I believe we've successfully taught her to do.
 

Bletchleyite

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Admittedly the only reason why my Gran has internet is because I pay for it and it's mainly for our benefit when we visit, she does own a tablet, a Kindle Fire HD 10, but that is more for playing scrabble than anything else, although I have taught her to use the weather and news apps. Just got to try skyping her now which I believe we've successfully taught her to do.
The upside of tablets, particularly Apple ones though Kindle Fires aren't bad and are cheap, is that they're much more intuitive to use than computers but are of a more useful form factor than phones.

You could argue that providing a cheap but workable tablet like a Kindle Fire (but with a SIM card in it) free of charge to those who are "digitally excluded" (or whatever you might term it) is going to be better for society than continuing to provide conventional access to a lot of services, which can be very costly for an ever-decreasing number of takers.
 

najaB

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You could argue that providing a cheap but workable tablet like a Kindle Fire (but with a SIM card in it) free of charge to those who are "digitally excluded"...
That was the idea of the BT Chrysalis - unfortunately it got canned in what has turned out to be up there with the worst business decisions ever.
 

Dai Corner

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That was the idea of the BT Chrysalis - unfortunately it got canned in what has turned out to be up there with the worst business decisions ever.
Rather than a multipurpose device, there might be more mileage in a series of single-purpose ones.

My stepfather can't get his head around the fact that you can browse the web on a telephone, listen to the radio on the TV or play music on a PC (which he thinks of as a typewriter Mum uses to produce his letters after he's handwritten them).

I think he might like a contactless payment card with a display showing the current balance.
 

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