A Cashless Society

In the UK, more and more companies and businesses are heading toward ‘cashless’ payments. Some places are refusing to accept cash at all, and many others make ‘contactless payments’ compulsory, for purchases of less that £30. Payment by cheque is also dying out, as many younger people now use apps to transfer money, or pay for things with their phones.

But what of those living hand to mouth, on a daily basis? Or older people who do not carry mobile phones, or cannot understand how to manage their finances online? For a large part of the population, cash is still their main way of making payments, and being able to see how much money they have left to get them through the week.

With this in mind, the consumer magazine ‘Which?’ is running an online petition to campaign against the removal of the option of cash payments in the UK. This is what they have to say.

‘In a world of contactless payments and flashy new banking apps, it’s easy to forget about the cash in your wallet. But cash is a necessity many couldn’t live without and it’s a vital backup when digital payment systems fail. Small business owners. People who have to live on tight budgets. Rural and isolated communities. Some people living with disabilities. These are just some of the people who rely on cash’.

I have signed the petition, and would urge all my UK readers and followers to sign too.
Here’s a link to it.

https://campaigns.which.co.uk/freedom-to-pay/

54 thoughts on “A Cashless Society

  1. This is a weird one for me. I don’t carry any cash and I find keeping track of cash stressful. Virtual money is so much easier to me. Mr O prefers cash. I think the option for both should be there but I can see the convenience for small businesses like the ones that make up the market in our town centre. Not needing to have a float for change or carry money around or deposit it in the bank must be so much easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no doubt that the cashless society will come in time. But for now, I believe we have to think of those (usually poorer) people who have to manage on very little, so prefer to use cash.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  2. I have a friend who believes going cashless is probably a long term plan of controlling the masses and ultimately the powers that be will microchip our wrist to pay for things and have the power to turn it off as and when they decide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We pay all our bills by direct debit, but a huge percentage of the population here lives from week to week, and needs access to cash.
      Thanks, Wilma.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. I agree with you. I have only seen a few places here that don’t take cash and I don’t think it’s a good idea. How about when those apps or phones fail, or the power goes out? And especially as you point out, the poor or elderly may not understand or have access to those systems. Give me cash any day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Over here, the poor do not always have access to non-cash payment systems without paying a premium for the luxury. I am for cash for a whole bevy of reasons all of which go back to dealing with the government. Cashless transactions leave a bigger trail than cash transactions. 🙂 Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I pay all my bills online, except for the HOA—I write them a check and hand deliver it. I normally use my debit card to pay for everyday things, but usually pay for gasoline with cash, as the gas station charges a fee to use a debit card or credit card.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pete, I worked with a group of younger workers, just entering the workforce. We spoke one day about things they don’t know, or want to learn: not one single person had a house phone OR a checking account, have never written a check and never will, have never entered a bank, don’t use “bar” soup (in the US this generation uses liquid “body wash”), and they VENMO everything…they use a card for a cup of coffee, or more likely, an app to swipe…it was interesting to hear….their idea of a classic horror film, for example, was the first “Conjuring” film!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Here in the US – the country that, if I’m informed correctly, invented credit cards – many people still pay [e.g. at the check-out in supermarkets] with a cheque. Antidiluvian!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From my weekly trips to the supermarket, I roughly estimate that around 20% of customers here still pay with cash. Mostly the older ones. I use a bank debit card, like the other 80%. I haven’t seen anyone pay by cheque in a supermarket for close to twenty years now.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Most shops still take cash here, Kim. It is the main banks that are trying to stop it. They want to reduce the security and handling costs of transporting large sums of cash.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Pete, I think the move away from cash is desired especially by those who would prevent the working and middle classes from avoiding tax (or that other obsession of money laundering). I recently tried to pay cash into my mums bank account but wasn’t allowed to do so without her paying in book. I could pay in money electronically from my phone using her account details, but couldn’t do so, in person, using cash. One day, perhaps only the rich will be able to avoid tax liabilities? Oh, hang on…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve signed. I still use cash and I use a cheque book though the bank no longer sends one automatically. I have to order a new one. I rang the bank to do so but none of the press buttom options included ordering a cheque book so I waited until a human came on the line and made my request. “A cheque book? You want to order a cheque book?” Total puzzlement in his voice. There’s a new member of staff in my local branch who seems to spend her day trying to persuade customers to sign up for apps for their phone! Many of the customers are elderly and don’t want the hassle. She’s not making much headway but I guess once that older generation die out that’ll be it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m beginning to feel like an outlier here. I’m into my sixties now, and haven’t had a cheque book in well over 10 years. And I don’t know how long it was before that when I last wrote a cheque.

      I would never suggest that they should be withdrawn, or that people shouldn’t use them, but I can say I haven’t had any use for one in all that time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just handed out three cheques, One for the new windows, one for the carpets, and one to a carpet fitter. They didn’t want to give their bank details for online transfers, and preferred to take a cheque. That said, I bought my car seven years ago with a chip and pin payment. 🙂
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, Mary. I still use cheques, though not so much in the post now. I find may local tradesmen still expect cheque payments. I presume that’s so they can pay them into ‘different’ accounts. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I understand the sentiments behind the petition. But maybe I missed something. It’s not calling for any action, is it?

    Who are they going to present it to? What do they want them to do?

    Or, maybe a bit more cynically, “please remember Which?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean, Ian. It is obviously a potential marketing ploy for ‘Which?’, but I presume it will be presented to some minister or other when it reaches the required amount of signatures. I also doubt that anyone will take any notice of it, but some form of protest and public awareness is better than nothing at all.
      Hopefully…
      Cheers, Pete.

      Like

  11. I haven’t run into a place of business that doesn’t accept cash, but I sure wouldn’t want to see it happen. If someone refused my cash – I sure wouldn’t go back there!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have to say I’m guilty of this and don’t know what it’s like for the other half of society. I can put ten or twenty pounds cash in my wallet and it’s a good bet it’ll be untouched for several months, if not longer. Coins, I simply hate carrying around in a pocket. I am 97% electronically financed, by preference.
    But I will sign the petition right away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for signing, BF. I also use a debit card most of the time. But then I mainly do a supermarket ‘big shop’, and put £60 of diesel in the car. Carrying around almost £200 in cash is inadvisable, even in rural Norfolk. That said, I do worry about those mentioned in the article, so signed happily.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Several things worry me about the cashless society. First, the thought that everything you spend can be recorded so that marketing companies can profile and target you, and authorities could potentially come back and say (for those of us who own houses) you gave gifts to your children and grandchildren to avoid care home fees, or gifts in excess of the inheritance tax exemption. Secondly, the thought that banks and card companies get a tiny slice of everything you spend. It won’t change the prices, but I’d rather it go to the retailer/supplier. Then there is the counting, adding up, working out change – do we lose even more of those skills? In that regard, maybe we should bring back £sd – what’s seven times 7s 4d? Come on! Quick!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My step-children are in their 30s, and think it is hilarious when I talk in ‘old money’. They have enough trouble deducting from 100 to work out change, let alone reintroducing shillings and pence. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Then you have to put it into £. The thing is, people who worked in shops and most of the rest of the population could do this kind of thing in their heads without any effort. They could even do it the other way round – divide £2 11s 4d by 7. You have to be over 55 or 60 to be at home with it now. It’s a trivial thing in itself, but combined with all the other things that help us avoid having to think, I find it worrying. But, as my mother-in-law used to point out,my age group were never made to learn Pitman’s shorthand.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. £2/11/4d. Yes, we did everything in our heads, and I mostly still do. I am grateful for the rote learning of the Times Table. All together now, “Nine nines are eighty-one”… 🙂

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  14. I’ve signed. there is also the thought how can children learn about the value of money or maths if they don’t have physical cash. From 3 or 4 onwards they can have pocket money and learn to count coins out to buy something.
    Our greengrocers’ handles only cash – if you just want an onion and an apple it would be daft to use your card! I know some Big Issue sellers now have card machines and that is a help to them, but our local ones just take cash.

    Liked by 2 people

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