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In the UK, 74% say a cashless society would take away people’s right to choose (Access to Cash Review, 2019)

Aug. 19, 2020 Share Source
The statistic comes from Access to Cash Review, published in March 2019.

The Access to Cash Reviews looks at the future of access to cash across the UK. The review was "commissioned as a response to the rapid decline in cash use, among growing concerns about whether we’re leaving people behind who can’t use or access cash in an increasingly digital society."

Concerning the British public's attitude towards cashless societies, the review highlighted the following key findings:

  • 56% of rural communities would become less viable
  • 74% say we will all be more vulnerable to cyber-attacks
  • 60% say we would have less privacy
  • 75% say some older people would find it difficult to do everyday things like pay bills
  • 72% say vulnerable groups of people would be more likely to get scammed or defrauded

Access to Cash Review, 2019, p. 46

Excerpts from the Access to Cash Review:

Our research found that around 17% of the UK population – over 8 million adults – would struggle to cope in a cashless society. For many people in the UK, using cash is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. Digital payment options just don’t yet work for everyone. (p. 6)

Those who can’t provide proof of their identity to a bank or financial services provider have few choices other than cash. Approximately 1.3m13 UK adults don’t have a bank account, including people new to the UK, those moving out of extreme poverty or homelessness, and those with various other reasons. (p. 24)

Risk to rural communities

"Rural communities are among the slowest to move to digital, often due to limited access to broadband. They also have a larger proportion of lower-income, older and more vulnerable users, who still prefer or need to use cash." (p. 47)

Risk to personal independence

"Many older people and those with disabilities manage their affairs by spending in cash. Moving to digital payments can mean handing over control to someone else, particularly if the person struggles with technology." (p. 48)

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Last Updated: Aug. 19, 2020

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