UK Cash System on Verge of Collapse, Report Finds

Review predicts cash could fall to just 10% of all payments in the next 15 years.

By Rupert Jones and cross-posted from The Guardian

More than 8 million UK adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society, according to a major report which claims that the country’s “cash infrastructure” is in danger of collapsing.

With Britons increasingly turning to digital payments, and bank branches and ATMs closing, the Access to Cash Review said companies and organisations providing “essential” services should be required to ensure that consumers can continue to pay by cash.

The review is funded by cash machine network Link, but is independent from it, and is chaired by the former head of the Financial Ombudsman Service Natalie Ceeney, with other members including Richard Lloyd, the former executive director of consumer group Which?.

Ceeney said that “17% of the UK population – over 8 million adults – would struggle to cope in a cashless society”.

Debit cards last year officially overtook notes and coins as the most popular form of payment in the UK for the first time, and the review’s report predicted that cash could fall to just 10% of all payments within the next 15 years.

It also called on the government, regulators and banks to “act now or risk leaving millions behind”. A spokesman for the review claimed the UK’s cash system was “on the verge of collapse”

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