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    New independent scheme launched to support access to cash

    Photo: iStock

    An independent access to cash initiative has been launched to support local communities’ access to cash needs.

    The Community Access to Cash Pilots initiative encourages communities across the country to apply to participate in the new scheme chaired by Natalie Ceeney, author of the 2019 Access to Cash Review.

    “We are very keen to hear from local communities and work with them to identify solutions, acting as a test bed for the type of measures that could be rolled out more widely,” Ceeney said.

    The Pilots will help to test solutions to local access to cash needs, with the goal of developing scalable solutions which can inform national policy. Successful applicants will work alongside the payments and customer experts to develop solutions that will help them to adapt to the changing payments landscape.

    The 2019 Access to Cash Review found that 17 percent of the UK population rely on cash, with vulnerable communities, including the poor and those in rural areas, at particular risk from reduced access to cash.

    The Association of Convenience Stores has pledged to work with the new initiative.

    James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said: “Convenience stores play an important role in providing access to cash which is primarily delivered through a network of ATMs, and cash is important to convenience stores as it is still the preferred method of payment in the sector. We will engage with these trials to explore other ways for consumers to access their cash.”

    The deadline for applications to the scheme is 1 May. More information about the scheme is available here.

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