Could the Channel Islands become cashless as businesses and buyers move away from physical money?

  • ITV Channel reporter Fred Dimbleby looks at why more people are using cards over cash

Banks in Jersey ordered just £100 million in notes last year, compared to 2013 when the number exceeded £300 million.

The Covid pandemic was a watershed moment in the move to card payments rather than cash and it seems to be a trend that is continuing.

Jamie Hooker, owner of a Jersey coffee shop, said: "As a small business, we have to decide what's most viable for us and it's arguably cheaper for us to take cards.

"We do still have an emergency cash pot if somebody has to pay cash. There's just no business sense in it for us anymore."

Guernsey buses are already cashless while in Jersey, passengers can pay with coins and notes but it will cost more.

Liberty Bus Director Kevin Hart said: "The cost to the business of using cash is quite large and now only 8% to 10% of our customers are using cash.

"We've really got to weigh up whether we have to employ somebody to count it and there are other things those people can be doing that's going to be far more efficient for a business."

While using cards and devices such as mobile phones to pay might be convenient for some, cash can be a lifeline for others.

Members of the public had mixed opinions on the premise of a cashless society.

One woman said: "A lot of older people don't want to have cards, they prefer to use cash because they know how much cash they have."

Another said: "Most of the cards are on the phone anyway so you don't need to be carrying cards with you, as long as you have got your phone you're covered."

Jersey's Sustainable Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel is personally supportive of people having the option to use physical money.

He said: "Cash plays an important role in protecting privacy, allowing for transactions without involving a third party.

"The consumer ultimately wants choice and flexibility, especially during periods where budgeting is more challenging."

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