Paypoint enlists retailers to join fight for cash in low-access zones

PayPoint Group CEO Nick Wiles

PayPoint announced today the national roll-out of its Counter Cash service, which enables anyone to withdraw specific denominations of cash from £0.01 to £50, from participating PayPoint retailer partners. The service will initially be targeting specific areas of the UK with little to no cash access, providing confidence that access will be protected over the long term.

This follows PayPoint research into the most cash-reliant areas of the UK, which combined PayPoint sales data – looking at cash as an overall percentage of transactions in its network of 28,000 UK stores over FY20/21 – with regional data on how many people said they were reliant on cash.

Of the 48 UK counties included in the study, 43 had an overall cash reliance score of >50 per cent, indicating that the need for cash by millions of people to support day-to-day expenditure is still of major importance across the whole of the UK. The study also revealed that one in five (21 per cent) people across the UK still use an ATM two to three times a week.

More than two thirds (67 per cent) of all purchases in PayPoint’s network were made in cash over FY2020/21. 62 per cent of people in Wales and 64 per cent of people in England think more should be done to protect cash, rising to 67 per cent in Scotland.

Counter Cash is a first of its kind in scale and ambition beyond the traditional ATM. Participating retailers in the scheme will enjoy benefits including:

  • Earning commission on every transaction they process – including withdrawals and balance enquiries
  • Saving on banking charges by recycling cash they take in for PayPoint services
  • Offering a vital, high profile service to their local community

“Bank branches and ATMs have been disappearing at an alarming rate over the last few years and the UK’s rapid growth in digital payments, across every corner of the economy, has left millions of people who use cash every day at risk of being left behind,” Nick Wiles, Chief Executive of PayPoint, explained.

“Today PayPoint is laying out its long-term commitment to do everything it can to ensure easy, free cash access, working with partners across industry and government, ahead of the official launch of PayPoint Counter Cash on November 1st. The service will not only enable people to make exact withdrawals, down to a single penny, unlike an ATM, but will also be completely free to customers and profitable to the retailers that offer it.”

Retailer Imran Hamid of Dennyloanhead in Scotland said: “Denny is a town where we used to have TSB, a Royal Bank of Scotland, a Bank of Scotland, a Clydesdale Bank and now they’ve all shut. I think it’s just a community thing where we try to help and give back something.

“We’ve also got people who are on benefits here and they want access to their cash. That’s another good thing about this – they can withdraw anything from a penny to £50. If someone on benefits has only got £3.50 left in their bank account and they want that £3.50, I can give it to them and it’s not going to cost them anything.”