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    Calls to protect cash as payment method

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    In a joint letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, a coalition of businesses, charities and consumer groups, including ACS, have called for urgent action to protect cash as a critical payment method for both consumers and businesses.

    The Government is currently consulting on its Future of Payments Review, which aims to consider how payments are likely to be made in the future and make recommendations on the steps needed to deliver these payment methods. In its submission, ACS has highlighted a need for careful planning to ensure that individuals and businesses who use cash are not left behind. ACS’s submission is available here.

    The letter signed by ACS, the Federation of Small Businesses, NoteMachine, Positive Money, Petrol Retailers Association and Rural Services Network calls on the Treasury to ensure that cash remains part of the payment mix of the future, highlighting the important role the cash plays in the lives of consumers and businesses across the UK particularly those who may be more financially vulnerable or digital excluded.

    Findings from the 2022 Local Shop Report reveal the important role that convenience stores continue to play in promoting financial inclusion in their communities, offering a range of cash and banking services, including free-to-use ATMs (44 per cent of stores), charged ATMs (18 per cent), cashback (69 per cent), bill payment services (76 per cent) and Post Office services (22 per cent).

    ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “As well as cash still being used for more than half of convenience store transactions, customers use ATMs located at convenience stores to access cash for their daily needs. The Treasury has committed to support a full range of payment options, including cash, for the long-term, and we need to see improved ATM interchange fees to make sure this is delivered.”

    ACS has launched a new tool which reveals the change in ATM provision in every constituency across the UK. 

    The ATM tracker is available here.

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