Hypothetical: rail companies not accepting cash

35B

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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.
I do have children, and handling real money was an important part of them learning the meaning of money. They also use contactless (where available through their banks), and receive their pocket money online. However, asking them to use a contactless card for ticketing raises a number of issues in my mind, and I would certainly be reluctant as a parent to authorise it. The two key ones are ensuring that they have enough money on their account for their travel (remember, the child purchases the tickets in this scenario, not the parent), and the security of a minor using their payment card.

Thinking of group outings they've done, or I’ve been involved with as a helper, this would engage significant safeguarding concern.
 
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najaB

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This might have been a reason in 1985, but it isn't even close to being one now.
Now that you mention that, I got my first bank account with TSB back in 1983 (when they were still the Trustees Savings Bank) at the ripe old age of... well, less than 10 years old.
 

Mathew S

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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.
They do.
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.
It's not. All the stations have help points - just use one of those to contact customer services, no phone required.
I do have children, and handling real money was an important part of them learning the meaning of money. They also use contactless (where available through their banks), and receive their pocket money online. However, asking them to use a contactless card for ticketing raises a number of issues in my mind, and I would certainly be reluctant as a parent to authorise it. The two key ones are ensuring that they have enough money on their account for their travel (remember, the child purchases the tickets in this scenario, not the parent), and the security of a minor using their payment card.

Thinking of group outings they've done, or I’ve been involved with as a helper, this would engage significant safeguarding concern.
Safeguarding concern, really?
Understanding money is important, I agree; so is learning to operate a bank account.
 

Bletchleyite

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Safeguarding concern, really?
It's an absolute load of utter tosh. Cash is a concern for kids - the bullies like nicking it. A card that the parents can stop as soon as said theft is reported (and which will block itself after 5 contactless transactions anyway)? Rather less so.

I've heard some rubbish about Safeguarding in my time but this is about the biggest load of tripe I've ever heard. It is inconceivable that the use of a pre-paid debit card by a child could be in any way a Safeguarding issue. It's just absolute nonsense.

Understanding money is important, I agree; so is learning to operate a bank account.
Very much so, yes.
 

35B

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It's an absolute load of utter tosh. Cash is a concern for kids - the bullies like nicking it. A card that the parents can stop as soon as said theft is reported (and which will block itself after 5 contactless transactions anyway)? Rather less so.

I've heard some rubbish about Safeguarding in my time but this is about the biggest load of tripe I've ever heard. It is inconceivable that the use of a pre-paid debit card by a child could be in any way a Safeguarding issue. It's just absolute nonsense.
I raised safeguarding in response to the idea of bank cards, not pre-paid debit cards - as a parent, I'm well aware of the risks that there can be around cash, and the role technology has in limiting the need for cash handling. Trips I've been involved in organising, or sent children on, have usually set limits on spending money (typically £5-£10 for a day trip), and the risk to the children based on that low level of financial loss.

That calculus changes drastically if the card gives access to a bank account with significant funds in it.

The broader issue is the glib assumption that parents will get cards for their children, and that this is somehow reasonable or practical. Again thinking of trips I've been involved in organising, this puts a further barrier to participation for those children who are not blessed with organised capable parents and guardians. As a for example, a group my son belongs to goes ice skating every so often. That is based on parents buying tickets for their child (this is a non-Oyster, non-ITSO area) and giving the group organiser money for the skating. It works really well, and the ability to make it happen simply and well is a key part of the success of this. Cash supports this; mandating other means of payment adds complexity (=cost) and inhbits activity. And that is without commenting on the imposition of yet another thing to manage on me as a parent.
 

Bletchleyite

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The broader issue is the glib assumption that parents will get cards for their children, and that this is somehow reasonable or practical. Again thinking of trips I've been involved in organising, this puts a further barrier to participation for those children who are not blessed with organised capable parents and guardians. As a for example, a group my son belongs to goes ice skating every so often. That is based on parents buying tickets for their child (this is a non-Oyster, non-ITSO area) and giving the group organiser money for the skating. It works really well, and the ability to make it happen simply and well is a key part of the success of this. Cash supports this; mandating other means of payment adds complexity (=cost) and inhbits activity. And that is without commenting on the imposition of yet another thing to manage on me as a parent.
As a Scout Leader I would say the opposite - we manage our events via Online Scout Manager and parents pay online, only the odd one still gives us cash. It's much easier - everything is done online, automatic reminders and we just check the list to see who's booked. Easy.

There is a cost (3.95%) but it is well, well worth it out of respect and value of volunteer time.
 

87 027

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As a Scout Leader I would say the opposite - we manage our events via Online Scout Manager and parents pay online, only the odd one still gives us cash. It's much easier - everything is done online, automatic reminders and we just check the list to see who's booked. Easy.

There is a cost (3.95%) but it is well, well worth it out of respect and value of volunteer time.
I agree that Online Scout Manager is a great tool for youth organisations to use but it does require setup and maintenance and I interpreted the previous post as relating to perhaps more informal and/or ad hoc arrangements?
 

route:oxford

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I raised safeguarding in response to the idea of bank cards, not pre-paid debit cards - as a parent, I'm well aware of the risks that there can be around cash, and the role technology has in limiting the need for cash handling. Trips I've been involved in organising, or sent children on, have usually set limits on spending money (typically £5-£10 for a day trip), and the risk to the children based on that low level of financial loss.
There is definitely a safeguarding concern around bank cards and bank accounts. For young people and adults like.

But you've got it the wrong way round. It's the abusive parents, partners and relatives that limit an individuals access to the digital economy that you have to look out for.
 

87 027

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As an administrator I am pushing all my sections to adopt Online Scout Manager but you have to set up a central bank account capable of receiving the payments. It can’t be in the name of an individual in order to comply with Charity Commission regulations.

No experience of Eventbrite except registering as an individual for free events.
 

route:oxford

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As an administrator I am pushing all my sections to adopt Online Scout Manager but you have to set up a central bank account capable of receiving the payments. It can’t be in the name of an individual in order to comply with Charity Commission regulations.

No experience of Eventbrite except registering as an individual for free events.
I've used Eventbrite many times for a Charity Event. Commission can be a touch higher than setting up your own website and paypal acceptance etc, but the data and reporting is so easy to use - Settlement to the bank account is only made when the event is passed.

We've also used Fixr for events where we take a fee for an event, but refund if you attend. It's great for sponsored events where there is limited capacity and you want to make sure people turn up.

Never do a "Father Ted" and let money that belongs to a club or association "rest" in your own bank account. It's easy to open a charity account, and easy to manage one too.
 

Mathew S

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Much as I adored OSM when I used to be involved in Scouting myself, are we perhaps drifting somewhat from, you know, railways?

I raised safeguarding in response to the idea of bank cards, not pre-paid debit cards - as a parent, I'm well aware of the risks that there can be around cash, and the role technology has in limiting the need for cash handling. Trips I've been involved in organising, or sent children on, have usually set limits on spending money (typically £5-£10 for a day trip), and the risk to the children based on that low level of financial loss.

That calculus changes drastically if the card gives access to a bank account with significant funds in it.

The broader issue is the glib assumption that parents will get cards for their children, and that this is somehow reasonable or practical. Again thinking of trips I've been involved in organising, this puts a further barrier to participation for those children who are not blessed with organised capable parents and guardians. As a for example, a group my son belongs to goes ice skating every so often. That is based on parents buying tickets for their child (this is a non-Oyster, non-ITSO area) and giving the group organiser money for the skating. It works really well, and the ability to make it happen simply and well is a key part of the success of this. Cash supports this; mandating other means of payment adds complexity (=cost) and inhbits activity. And that is without commenting on the imposition of yet another thing to manage on me as a parent.
Is the obvious solution to this not just a pre-paid ITSO card? I mean, kids in London have been using Oyster for years.
 

Bletchleyite

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Much as I adored OSM when I used to be involved in Scouting myself, are we perhaps drifting somewhat from, you know, railways?
We are a bit. The point being made (which did drift somewhat) was that the statement that cash acceptance is somehow vital for small organisations or individuals putting on events is false, because there are lots of options for those people to use platforms like the ones discussed.

Which must surely, as people are discovering those platforms, be another nail in the cash coffin? Which must go on to affect the railway?
 

35B

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We are a bit. The point being made (which did drift somewhat) was that the statement that cash acceptance is somehow vital for small organisations or individuals putting on events is false, because there are lots of options for those people to use platforms like the ones discussed.

Which must surely, as people are discovering those platforms, be another nail in the cash coffin? Which must go on to affect the railway?
They affect the use of cash, but the requirement for many to use cash remains. And when cash use is free for an organisation, but other tools include a transaction cost, that has a measurable impact somewhere in the mix.
 

Mathew S

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the statement that cash acceptance is somehow vital for small organisations or individuals putting on events is false
In fact, my experience of small businesses locally in the last couple of years (and even more so at the moment) is a real desire to avoid cash, and switch people to contactless or direct debit. Even the milk-man specifically asked me to stop paying cash, and switch to direct debit!
when cash use is free for an organisation, but other tools include a transaction cost, that has a measurable impact somewhere in the mix
Business bank accounts where cash handling is free are gradually, albeit quietly, falling by the wayside. I don't handle cash but, as an example if I did, my business account charges me 0.3% of the value of any cash deposit up to £3. That's on top of the time it would take for me to count, sort, & bag it, and physically go and pay it - easily an hour a time. By contrast, electronic payments are free, and card payments are 1.4% + 20p through Stripe (and actually save me time accounting at the end of the month, because it all happens automatically in QuickBooks).

In a railway context, as I said above, for those who are wedded to cash there is no reason why a free to obtain pre-paid ITSO card couldn't be offered by RDG, and accepted by all TOCs. All you would then need would be the facility to top that up with cash, which is easy enough to achieve (TVMs, PayPoints, etc.) For the very, very small number of locations in the UK where such a scheme is completely unachievable (e.g. Corrour) and for those passengers who do not already have a ticket, or a means of obtaining a ticket, then some scheme similar to an unpaid fare notice would seem a reasonable workaround.
 

Bletchleyite

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In fact, my experience of small businesses locally in the last couple of years (and even more so at the moment) is a real desire to avoid cash, and switch people to contactless or direct debit. Even the milk-man specifically asked me to stop paying cash, and switch to direct debit!
GoCardless has made actual direct debits accessible to very small businesses - in many ways easier than cash, as you say, as there's no need to chase it and unlike a standing order it can work with variable amounts. Also very low on charges (I think 1.9% with a minimum) if you use it directly, though platforms supporting it (such as OSM mentioned above) charge their own cut on top.

FWIW if I started that sort of business now I would make it cash-free from day one. Much easier. The business from those insisting on paying cash would not be sufficient to be worth worrying about.

In a railway context, as I said above, for those who are wedded to cash there is no reason why a free to obtain pre-paid ITSO card couldn't be offered by RDG, and accepted by all TOCs. All you would then need would be the facility to top that up with cash, which is easy enough to achieve (TVMs, PayPoints, etc.) For the very, very small number of locations in the UK where such a scheme is completely unachievable (e.g. Corrour) and for those passengers who do not already have a ticket, or a means of obtaining a ticket, then some scheme similar to an unpaid fare notice would seem a reasonable workaround.
As corner shops aren't going to stop taking cash any time soon, and if they do it will be because there is literally no demand for it locally, I see PayPoint/PayZone as the answer, personally. They are just about everywhere, and pretty much everyone who lives in cash knows about them and uses them as it's the only way to pay for electricity bills and the likes if you do run solely in cash.

Not an awful lot of people originate at the likes of Corrour. They might be in the position of walking there from another WHL station across the nothingness, but they could buy both tickets before boarding at Glasgow, FW or wherever. Same with the remote S&C stations, and the Conwy Valley is nowhere near as remote as it looks - it's amazing how different the experience is from the main road which is mostly just tens of metres away.
 
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streamliner

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When the permit machines were removed we had no warnings. no signage before or after either, and the management claimed 6 months later, after the machines were removed, that they had no idea when to fine people who decide to travel without a ticket. And there is still false advertising on the websites to say cash is an option at the stations. but it is not an option after the station is closed, no warnings, just fear with the threatening signs!

Vulnerable people will suffer.

Even when you know your rights they can still be striped away. it all depends on how nice the revenue officer in that moment.
 

Mathew S

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I see PayPoint/PayZone as the answer, personally. They are just about everywhere, and pretty much everyone who lives in cash knows about them and uses them as it's the only way to pay for electricity bills and the likes if you do run solely in cash.
Agreed.
Not an awful lot of people originate at the likes of Corrour. They might be in the position of walking there from another WHL station across the nothingness, but they could buy both tickets before boarding at Glasgow, FW or wherever. Same with the remote S&C stations, and the Conwy Valley is nowhere near as remote as it looks - it's amazing how different the experience is from the main road which is mostly just tens of metres away.
Yeah. I was mainly trying to deal with the "what if" objections that somebody is bound to come up with sooner or later :)
Between all the different modes of ticketing available, the number of people who genuinely have no alternative but to buy on arrival at their departure station, in cash only, must be tiny; and getting smaller.
 

NorthernSpirit

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What TOCs are still taking cash at the moment please?
TransPennine Express still accepts cash at Huddersfield which is useful as my plastic doesn't work properly.

"I like paying by cash because I like the traditional way it works" is not even a SLIGHTLY good reason, and is the one that (paraphrased) keeps coming up. In normal circumstances I find it tenuous. In these circumstances I find it unacceptable and selfish.
What happens if your card is faulty but you do have plenty note and coinage to pay? Are you denied service simply because you can only realistically pay with note and coinage?

What about the more senior end who may have no other option but to pay for that vital loaf and pint of milk with note and coinage as they don't have a card let alone a PC? The PC that they "have" could may well be the one in the local library, which are currently closed.
 

superjohn

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What happens if your card is faulty...
What about the more senior end...
No problem, use cash if there is no alternative. Bletchleyite‘s comment was about those who make it their business to needlessly use cash as a form of protest against what they see as being „told what to do“. A very British and very pathetic attitude but sadly all too common.

I have a relative who insists on paying off his credit card at the bank counter, using cash withdrawn from the machine outside! I have tried having an intelligent discussion about the alternatives but he isn’t having it. Any form of regulation is an infringement of his human rights and considering others doesn‘t come in to it. It is wrong to generalise but this attitude seems confined to gentlemen of a certain age and political persuasion.
 

island

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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’s commonplace in most countries outsite the UK. Our model of “free if in credit banking” is the exception rather than the rule – though it still has life in it yet.
 

najaB

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Yet the reason given for not accpeting cash is seemingly the risk of touching money.
The problem is that the person taking the cash (guard, ticket office clerk) would potentially be doing so all day accepting cash from dozens of different people, as opposed to a passenger using the pin pad once (after which they can simply wipe their fingers). And, if they're using contactless they don't even have to touch anything that's not their own.
 

najaB

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I can't believe how paranoid we're getting.
It's not paranoia. If we were talking about a mildly infectious disease that gives you a dodgy tummy then maybe but this is highly infectious and has killed well over 40,000 people in the UK already. It's not unreasonable to ask people to try and reduce the spread of the virus, so advising people to avoid using cash where they can seems sensible.
 

Journeyman

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It's not paranoia. If we were talking about a mildly infectious disease that gives you a dodgy tummy then maybe but this is highly infectious and has killed well over 40,000 people in the UK already. It's not unreasonable to ask people to try and reduce the spread of the virus, so advising people to avoid using cash where they can seems sensible.
Nope. It's paranoia.
 

Bletchleyite

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The problem is that the person taking the cash (guard, ticket office clerk) would potentially be doing so all day accepting cash from dozens of different people, as opposed to a passenger using the pin pad once (after which they can simply wipe their fingers). And, if they're using contactless they don't even have to touch anything that's not their own.
And re the TVM, carry sanitiser and use it before and after using the TVM, problem solved.
 

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