Small businesses group in Lancashire says people's access to cash must continue

Lancashire small businesses and their customers must have access to cash in the future despite the trend towards paying by plastic, a lobby group says.
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The Federation of Small Businesses, which has its head office in Lancashire at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, said in response to a new report, RSA and LINK’s The Cash Consensus, about declining cash usages and its effects on some sections of society, that the convenience of cashless transactions and online banking must not result in people not having access to cash and being left behind.

FSB national chairman Martin McTague, who sits on the Community Access to Cash Pilots board, said: “One in four small high street businesses say cash is still the most popular payment method among customers.

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“The pandemic has accelerated the move to contactless, but notes and coins remain important to the daily lives of millions.

Martin McTague, national chairman of the Federation of Small BusinessesMartin McTague, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses
Martin McTague, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses

“This new report rightly suggests a combination of innovation in the free access to cash space and investment in digital capability as the way forward.

“Through our Access to Cash Pilots, we’re increasingly identifying shared banking hubs alongside enhanced connectivity as integral to financial inclusion and increased productivity over the years ahead.

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“Cashback without purchase holds a lot of promise too, provided the incentives in place for small firms that take on the admin, cost and risk of providing it are sufficient.

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“By protecting access to cash infrastructure for as long as people want and need it, whilst increasing connectivity and keeping contactless card charges down for small firms, we can create a diverse payments market which is both inclusive as well as resilient when online systems fail.”

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