Hypothetical: rail companies not accepting cash

35B

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What if the traveller doesn't want prying eyes to see a transaction appearing on a bank or credit card statement? There are many reasons why this could be relevant.
And normally, I would agree. Right now, I would suggest that the balance should change and card payment be used where possible, for one’s own sake and that of the staff you’re dealing with.

That’s a question of manners, not rules.
 
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Bletchleyite

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And normally, I would agree. Right now, I would suggest that the balance should change and card payment be used where possible, for one’s own sake and that of the staff you’re dealing with.

That’s a question of manners, not rules.
Yes, this.

If you have in your possession a computer with printer or mobile device capable of producing an e-ticket, use that. That should be your first choice. Carry a charger if you're concerned about battery life.

Your second choice is to pay by card, contactless if the fare is low enough. You should do this if you have in your possession a payment card accepted by the railway which has adequate available (I mean not committed for bills etc) balance on it to purchase your ticket.

ONLY if neither of these apply should you consider cash.

This is not the rules. This is taking the avoidance of transmission properly seriously. This is being a non-selfish human being and thinking of others before yourself as EVERYONE needs to do now.
 

island

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And normally, I would agree. Right now, I would suggest that the balance should change and card payment be used where possible, for one’s own sake and that of the staff you’re dealing with.

That’s a question of manners, not rules.
Quite. This forum does have a habit of delving into the nichest of niche circumstances, and I think now is the time to refrain from this and instead think about common sense, common courtesy, and the common good. Put away the nonsense and take out your plastic.
 

Greenboy

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Quite. This forum does have a habit of delving into the nichest of niche circumstances, and I think now is the time to refrain from this and instead think about common sense, common courtesy, and the common good. Put away the nonsense and take out your plastic.
No..... if TOCs don't want to accept cash that's down to them. I know it's exceptional circumstances at the moment but supermarkets still accept cash payments.
 

spag23

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Sorry, but is anyone suggesting that we touch the buttons and screens of TVMs that have been touched by hundreds of passengers? No thanks!
 

spag23

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Not even with your knuckle, or a "dabber" pen?
I count my knuckle as part of my body, and I don't usually carry one of those pens; certainly not a single use one. Anyway I'll not be using any public transport for the duration.
 

Greenboy

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My local Morrison's has stopped accepting cash at the tills. It's card only. I don't have any cards so it's the dreaded self-checkout tills at the moment.
I find self service checkouts quicker and easier but each to their own opinion on them.

My stepdaughter made a local train journey to work yesterday and she approached the guard, obviously keeping a safe distance, about a ticket and he told her not to worry about it. She also mentioned that as the train pulled in a passenger was applauding the driver and giving him a thumbs up which was a nice little gesture.
 

35B

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No..... if TOCs don't want to accept cash that's down to them. I know it's exceptional circumstances at the moment but supermarkets still accept cash payments.
Some do, but I was interested in my reaction to being asked to pay cash at the local shop yesterday. Let’s just say that I won’t be going there if I can reasonably avoid it.
 

streamliner

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If a railway wide no cash rule is implemented then it needs to do so officially through the proper channels or it opens itself up to un-necessary legal issues.
There has been a no cash rule for many since around late summer /Autum 2019, at certrain times, when they started removing Permit to Travel machines.
The websites claim cash is an option! When the traveller arrives and the ticket office is closed, there is no permit machine, yet there are very
clear threats of fines.

The traveller, with only cash is in hand, has to board without a ticket and can be fined depending on the standard of revenue officer they first come into contact with.

There are no signs in place where the permit machine was to advice the traveller. This shows the lack of care and their choice to confuse people. there was no transition period. no warnings to remove a system that had been in place for decades.
 

yorkie

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There has been a no cash rule for many since around late summer /Autum 2019, at certrain times, when they started removing Permit to Travel machines.
The websites claim cash is an option! When the traveller arrives and the ticket office is closed, there is no permit machine, yet there are very
clear threats of fines.

The traveller, with only cash is in hand, has to board without a ticket and can be fined depending on the standard of revenue officer they first come into contact with.
To be clear, it is NOT the case that a fine, Penalty Fare or any other punitive charge can be made if a passenger is paying by a valid payment method at the first opportunity.

If the chosen payment method is a valid payment method and is not taken at the origin station, the passenger is entitled to board the train without penalty.

Full details of valid payment methods can be found here:

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/45185.aspx
The following are accepted as methods of payments at National Rail stations and retail outlets. They also apply to paying on-train when no opportunity to purchase beforehand existed....
 

pompeyfan

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I watched a video recently of man in a supermarket recording himself trying to force a £20 note onto kiosk staff, even though there was several very clear signs stating that tills operated by humans would not be accepting. The man refused to use a self serve till stating it was legal tender and they had to take it. In a lot of the comments it mentioned that legal tender only relates to an unsettled debt, and the supermarket could in theory only accept football trading cards if they so wanted, but would undoubted lose a lot of custom. How does this transfer to the railways. I suppose the difference is that the machine was still accepting cash payment, where as it seems some TOCs are not accepting any cash payment.
 

streamliner

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To be clear, it is NOT the case that a fine, Penalty Fare or any other punitive charge can be made if a passenger is paying by a valid payment method at the first opportunity.

If the chosen payment method is a valid payment method and is not taken at the origin station, the passenger is entitled to board the train without penalty.

Full details of valid payment methods can be found here:

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/45185.aspx
Yes absolutely. Thank you for that.

approx 6 months after the machines had been removed. With yellow warnings signs of threats of fines at the station, I contacted a rail company about this nonsense and they said to me, to the effect...'We do not know when to fine people, we are going to have a meeting about this soon.'

it like a twilight zone episode traveling by train at times. especially if you want to use cash.

if managment do not know when to fine people when they do not have a permit. Then surly all these revenue officers do not know either.

However as Yorkie states if you look into the codes and principles we can pay at the next opportunity.

Yet, I have been force to pay for an 'on peak' ticket even when i do have a permit and off peak is an option at the turnstyles. So I would dread to be caught at the turn styles without a permit to travel or ticket, especially if i was a vulnerable person.
 

yorkie

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How does this transfer to the railways. I suppose the difference is that the machine was still accepting cash payment, where as it seems some TOCs are not accepting any cash payment.
A supermarket is free to choose not to serve a customer who is paying cash.

However a train company does not have that freedom to choose. However they could choose to issue an Unpaid Fare Notice (UFN) for the debt to be settled later.

Yes absolutely. Thank you for that.

approx 6 months after the machines had been removed. With yellow warnings signs of threats of fines at the station, I contacted a rail company about this nonsense and they said to me, to the effect...'We do not know when to fine people, we are going to have a meeting about this soon.'
Many Customer Services staff are not knowledgeable so this is not surprising.
if managment do not know when to fine people when they do not have a permit. Then surly all these revenue officers do not know either.
Not all revenue officers know the rules either; this is the rail industry we are talking about!
Yet, I have been force to pay for an 'on peak' ticket even when i do have a permit and off peak is an option at the turnstyles. So I would dread to be caught at the turn styles without a permit to travel or ticket, especially if i was a vulnerable person.
If you have been denied the sale of a valid fare and sold a more expensive fare, please create a new thread with the details in the Disputes section and we will be happy to advise.
 

MikeWh

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If you have been denied the sale of a valid fare and sold a more expensive fare, please create a new thread with the details in the Disputes section and we will be happy to advise.
This has already been done and has now been approved.
 

daodao

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There are several groups of people who seem to be overlooked when insisting on cashless transactions:
  1. children <18 years old, although older ones are now permitted to run some types of supervised bank accounts
  2. individuals whose poor credit-worthiness (for whatever reason) means that they cannot open and maintain a bank account
  3. individuals with mental health issues or mental incapacity who are incapable of running a bank account
  4. foreign travellers whose cards are not accepted
Until these issues are addressed, it is inappropriate to ban cash payments entirely. There will also be issues with getting rid of cash for transactions of low value, small charitable donations including those at places of worship, tips for services rendered, and payment for illicit services (including sexual ones, particularly by those in the closet).

Historically, non-cash payments, particularly those of low value, were discouraged because of the costs of these transactions, with some retailers refusing to accept card payments for low value transactions, imposing a transaction charge for payments below a certain value, or not accepting them at all. It is only recently that most car parking ticket machines and on street meters have accepted card payments. Banks also used to limit the number of transactions per month for personal accounts and would impose a fee per transaction if the number of such transactions in an accounting month exceeded a specified figure. I am uncertain that all such restrictions have been abandoned.
 

CrispyUK

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There are several groups of people who seem to be overlooked when insisting on cashless transactions:
  1. children <18 years old, although older ones are now permitted to run some types of supervised bank accounts
  2. individuals whose poor credit-worthiness (for whatever reason) means that they cannot open and maintain a bank account
  3. individuals with mental health issues or mental incapacity who are incapable of running a bank account
  4. foreign travellers whose cards are not accepted
Until these issues are addressed, it is inappropriate to ban cash payments entirely. There will also be issues with getting rid of cash for transactions of low value, small charitable donations including those at places of worship, tips for services rendered, and payment for illicit services (including sexual ones, particularly by those in the closet).

Historically, non-cash payments, particularly those of low value, were discouraged because of the costs of these transactions, with some retailers refusing to accept card payments for low value transactions, imposing a transaction charge for payments below a certain value, or not accepting them at all. It is only recently that most car parking ticket machines and on street meters have accepted card payments. Banks also used to limit the number of transactions per month for personal accounts and would impose a fee per transaction if the number of such transactions in an accounting month exceeded a specified figure. I am uncertain that all such restrictions have been abandoned.
Many of these issues are already solved, or will naturally be solved anyway as society moves to being more and more cashless.

Bank accounts with debit cards are available from age 11, there are other options such as gohenry available for younger children from age 6, and basic bank accounts are available for those who wouldn't pass a credit check.

Solutions certainly exist for fixed-value contactless donations, and I'm sure a variable-value option is possible if it isn't already out there, optional tips can be included when paying for services by card and I certainly know people who have paid for illicit services by bank transfer (although it's perhaps not wise!) Charities and churches will move with the times to keep their revenue streams.

Processing electronic transactions is getting cheaper, retailers previously would have had to rent expensive terminals with dedicated phone lines for them to connect through, there's loads of competition in this marketplace now with lower barriers to accepting card payments. It will be in the interest of banks to encourage easy global and electronic payments so they can reduce their expensive cash-handling operations. I've not seen a transaction limit on personal banking in the 20+ years I've held an account, although wouldn't be surprised if a limit for non-electronic transactions is introduced in the future.

Bringing this back on topic, I suspect the railway could well be one of the last to stop fully accepting cash payments across the network as a whole and ticket offices will accept cash for as long as they exist.
 

Hadders

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Banks also used to limit the number of transactions per month for personal accounts and would impose a fee per transaction if the number of such transactions in an accounting month exceeded a specified figure.
I've never, ever heard of this on personal accounts. I've maintained personal current accounts for over 30 years and there has never been a limit on the number or value of transactions.
 

daodao

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I've never, ever heard of this on personal accounts. I've maintained personal current accounts for over 30 years and there has never been a limit on the number or value of transactions.
It applied to my personal Williams & Glyn's bank account (opened in 1973) many years ago, presumably to stop it being used surreptitiously for business purposes. One could use more cheques or OTC withdrawals per month, but if so, a charge (I recall it was 35 new pence per transaction) was applied. For instant payment by cheque, one had to have a separate cheque guarantee card to be shown to the retailer. There were no electronic payments then.

Until March 2020, I rarely made electronic payments for sums less than £5, so accustomed have I been to using cash for small payments.
 
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Hadders

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It applied to my personal Williams & Glyn's bank account (opened in 1973) many years ago, presumably to stop it being used surreptitiously for business purposes. One could use more cheques or OTC withdrawals per month, but if so, a charge (I recall it was 35 new pence per transaction) was applied. For instant payment by cheque, one had to have a separate cheque guarantee card to be shown to the retailer. There were no electronic payments then.
That's a bit before my time but it is amazing to think of how transactional banking has changed. Towns would have 1 or 2 cash machines, that didn't even operate 24 hours a day. I remember when we went on holiday my dad having to make special arrangements with the bank to be able to withdraw cash at a branch of the same bank at our holiday location. Totally unthinkable today.

I well remember cheque guarantee cards and I remember working in retail when the first electronic payments came in (late 1980s Anglia Building Society launched their 'AngliaCard' with swipe and PIN on a standalone terminal at the till. Anglia's head office was in Northampton and I managed a shop in the town at the time and we had a terminal installed, it really was a forerunner of today's chip and pin)
 

daodao

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That's a bit before my time but it is amazing to think of how transactional banking has changed. Towns would have 1 or 2 cash machines, that didn't even operate 24 hours a day. I remember when we went on holiday my dad having to make special arrangements with the bank to be able to withdraw cash at a branch of the same bank at our holiday location. Totally unthinkable today.

I well remember cheque guarantee cards and I remember working in retail when the first electronic payments came in (late 1980s Anglia Building Society launched their 'AngliaCard' with swipe and PIN on a standalone terminal at the till. Anglia's head office was in Northampton and I managed a shop in the town at the time and we had a terminal installed, it really was a forerunner of today's chip and pin)
I opened my bank account in the suburb where I lived, but as late as the mid 1980s, I had to make special arrangements in advance to be able to withdraw cash OTC at other branches of the same bank when I lived elsewhere. There were no "hole in the wall" machines then, and they are now disappearing too, often not being replaced after being broken into. A few months ago in Hale Barns I needed some cash, and the only way of obtaining any (the PO was closed) was to buy something in Booth's supermarket and ask for cashback as well.

Model rail exhibitions have hitherto been particularly difficult regarding non-cash payments.
 

Bletchleyite

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children <18 years old, although older ones are now permitted to run some types of supervised bank accounts
Eh? Children have always been allowed to have bank accounts. "Back in the day" they were typically passbook based (I think I got a first cash card aged 13, which is early 1990s) but now they're not, and you've got things like GoHenry for younger children.

This might have been a reason in 1985, but it isn't even close to being one now.

I don't have kids, but if I did I would be far, far happier with them carrying a card around (which I could easily block if they had got into trouble, e.g. other children were trying to steal money, or I suspected they were up to no good) than cash, and no chance of spending it on drugs/alcohol from other children. Being an IT-oriented person I used to save up for various bits of hardware, and recall my parents being quite nervous at the idea of me drawing out say £250 cash (probably the equivalent of a grand now) and walking down the street with it in my pocket.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Bringing this back on topic, I suspect the railway could well be one of the last to stop fully accepting cash payments across the network as a whole and ticket offices will accept cash for as long as they exist.
Though I could see a scenario arising whereby cash is only accepted at staffed ticket offices, and everywhere else it is mandatory to purchase before boarding at the TVM or an e-ticket on your phone or computer unless all those facilities are completely unavailable. It could perhaps include purchase from PayPoint/PayZone shops if cash was necessary locally.

Notably, SBB has "strict liability" ticketing on regional services, and this has been the case for at least 10 years. That is, if the TVM is broken the station is closed unless you've got a season ticket or buy one on your phone. I quite like the Metrolink idea (though I don't know if they still do it) that if the TVM is broken you have to phone and get a reference number (which means any TVM fault is reported very quickly), but this gives you completely free travel. In the case of the mainline this would be for a direct journey on one train, with the opportunity to rebook at the change point (unless this would miss a connection in which case the first viable location).
 

PeterC

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I quite like the Metrolink idea (though I don't know if they still do it) that if the TVM is broken you have to phone and get a reference number (which means any TVM fault is reported very quickly), but this gives you completely free travel. In the case of the mainline this would be for a direct journey on one train, with the opportunity to rebook at the change point (unless this would miss a connection in which case the first viable location).
Unless a working payphone is nearby this assumes the availability of a working mobile phone and a signal. As somebody who has to walk to the end of the road to receive a text I don't feel that a phone signal is a given for every potential location.
 

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