Mastercard's new cashback initiative

calendar iconOct 28, 2019

On September 12th, 2019, Mastercard announced a cashback initiative within the UK, that would see shops and businesses earning a fee each time their cards are used for transactions.

The new initiative is expected to help boost the United Kingdom's access to cash. Since card payments overtook cash payments in the UK less than two years ago, this new policy could play an important role in combatting the dramatic drop in ATM numbers across the island nation. This commitment to cash can be appreciated as a good move for financial inclusion, after all, there are still 2 million unbanked people across the United Kingdom relying entirely on cash.

“As an industry we have committed to finding sustainable ways to maintain people’s access to cash. By leading this new cash back initiative we aim to encourage more shops to offer their customers the option of cash back at the point of sale.”
"Mark BarnettPresident of Mastercard UKPress release (Sep 12, 2019)

How does it work?

*The new cashback initiative works like so: Participating businesses choosing to take part can offer a customer the opportunity to withdraw cash from their card in conjunction with a purchase as of April 2020. While customers who use any widely accepted cards will be able to participate, it is only the Mastercard debit card payments that will see the local shop benefitting.

While the move does not replace ATMs, which can be used when shops are closed and does not require a purchase before using, the cashback idea has been applauded by the Chair of the Access to Cash Review, Natalie Ceeney, who called it a "positive and welcome initiative".

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Last Updated: Nov 8, 2019