JEFF PRESTRIDGE: Cash nonetheless has a spot on High Street

JEFF PRESTRIDGE: Consumer teams should impress upon Government the significance of guaranteeing folks can at all times entry money on native excessive road

Wednesday is the deadline for submissions to be made to the Treasury on how entry to money on our excessive streets might be maintained. 

Yes, I do know, we’re all rightly distracted by different key problems with the second – lockdown, vaccines and fretting over Christmas. 

But I belief the nation’s military of shopper teams doesn’t miss this golden alternative to impress upon the Government the significance of guaranteeing that individuals can at all times get entry to money on their native excessive road – in addition to persevering with to be allowed to make use of it as a fee choice at most retailers. 

Cash in hand: The pandemic has performed into the palms of those that crave for a cashless society

Although the pandemic has performed into the palms of those that crave for a cashless society – particularly the banks and world digital fee giants resembling Visa and Mastercard – there isn’t any doubt that most individuals are usually not but prepared (and doubtless by no means might be) to discard bodily money. Payment alternative must be a given. 

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It’s why The Mail on Sunday launched the ‘Save Our Cash’ marketing campaign final summer season, calling for the Government to behave decisively to guard money. 

Our marketing campaign continues to demand that each city has no less than one financial institution (standalone or shared by all the massive banks); one free-to-use money machine; a publish workplace; and a free cashback facility supplied by a retailer. 

Judging by our mailbag, we have struck a chord with very many readers. 

Following an article earlier this month on the necessity for the Government to introduce laws that preserves entry to money – one thing Ministers have promised as soon as they’ve absorbed all of the concepts contained within the submissions to the Treasury – we had been inundated with letters of assist. 

The overriding sentiment was that whereas money might now not be king, it nonetheless has rather a lot going for it (a line taken from retired councillor Bob Dutton – thanks) and is essential for key sectors of our society such because the aged who are typically extra cash dependent. 

It’s backed by new analysis by monetary marketing consultant Enryo. Its evaluation signifies that greater than three quarters of shoppers imagine the Government must be doing extra to make sure entry to money, particularly in communities the place banks have shut their branches – and brought out their money machines. 

Enryo’s findings additionally recommend rising assist (37 per cent of these polled) for laws that will require outlets and companies to permit clients to pay money for day-to-day items and important companies. 

Since the pandemic, many retailers have turned their shops into cashless zones, some on the spurious floor that notes and cash transmit Covid19. Despite shopper opposition, it seems that store managers are usually not for turning and can keep cashless as soon as the financial system returns to some type of normality. All the temper music suggests the Government will refuse to legislate to make sure fee alternative, preferring to focus on methods of creating money extra accessible – for instance, by permitting folks to get cashback from retailers with out having to make a purchase order. 

A disgrace if that is the case, however the necessary factor is the Government comes up with proposals that protect in legislation everybody’s proper to entry and use bodily money. 

Financial inclusion is the way in which ahead, not monetary exclusion.

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Six hundred and 63 cheers to Nationwide for extending its pledge to maintain a department in each city and metropolis that it at present operates in. 

The extension means the nation’s largest constructing society won’t abandon any communities till the beginning of 2023 on the earliest. Although a few of its 663 branches might shut in cities and cities the place it believes it’s over-branched, the pledge represents a shot within the arm for the excessive road. And boy, does it want one. 

Nationwide has achieved its finest to maintain branches open throughout the pandemic, even on a Saturday. Unlike a lot of its rivals which might be banking on a digital future, Nationwide lays nice retailer on face-to-face customer support – and has gone out of its option to proceed providing it (social distancing restrictions however). 

All it now must do is enhance the wretched charges accessible on a few of its financial savings accounts.  

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