Cash Free Britain? - Tonight

Last year the UK saw a real turning point with three quarters of retail sales being made via cards or digital payment methods. Contactless technology has been revolutionary because of its ease and convenience, it is therefore perhaps not surprising that businesses in this country are deciding to go completely cashless and that the use of cash in the UK is in decline.

Reporter Adnan Sarwar investigates whether this trend that is rapidly gathering pace is something that everyone is feeling positive about.

Linda runs a wine shop & bar in Sale, she made the decision to go completely cashless over a year ago. Her reason wasn’t a need to be cutting edge, it was for safety.

In Sweden, they are further down the cashless road. 3 years ago Josefin had a microchip embedded under her skin that acts like a fob and allows her to make digital payments.

The chip was created by Swedish firm Biohax International.

Yet despite Sweden being so technologically advanced and with research suggesting the country could go fully cashless as early as 2023 there are people such as the older generation who are fearful at the pace of change, some of whom don’t want to embrace a world of swiping and pin numbers. As Christina Tallberg the president of the Swedish national pensioners’ organisation highlights:

However Gabriela Guibourg of the Swedish National Bank confirmed there is no need for people to worry.

These concerns are also being reflected here in the UK. Natalie Ceeney, Chair of the Access to Cash Review, an independent report looking at the future of access to cash across the UK noted:

An example of this being local residents of Harlech in Wales who have seen their bank branches, post offices and free to use ATMs close down.

Some people in Harlech feel they have no way to access free withdrawals of their cash.

However Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance that represents the UK banking and financial services sector believes the industry is confident that the role of cash will be protected and that people will be able to pay in the way they wish to pay for the foreseeable future.