According to media reports, the British government will set up a “coalition cash Strategy Group” to ensure that people can continue to access the right to use paper money and coins as the UK moves towards a digital economy.
As the digital economy continues to evolve, the number of physical banking branches and ATMs on the streets of the UK is dwindling, and this has sparked a big debate.
In the 2018, the British Government’s intention to abolish small coins and very large banknotes and create a cashless society in a comprehensive manner has also caused debate among the public.
Industry insiders point out that the full implementation of a cashless society will cause a lot of discomfort and inconvenience to about 8 million of the UK’s poor and elderly population.
In a 2018 Spring statement, Charles Landre, chairman of the payment system regulator, announced calls for evidence of cash and digital payments in the new economy.
A total of 218 respondents, including 132 members of the public, 86 organisations, charities and business people, provided advice. While respondents were keen on the government’s continued support for digital payments, they also reflected on the importance of cash in the daily lives of many people. Respondents said cash was also a necessary part of life.
Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer, said the decision reflected the value of cash as a symbol of independence , especially for the elderly and vulnerable. “Obviously a lot of people are still dependent on cash and I want the public to be able to choose how they spend their money,” he said.
In fact, according to a Post Office report, about 95% of Britons carry cash with them, with an average of at least 26 euros in their wallets, compared with less than 10% who are willing to transition to a cashless society.
In view of the above situation, the British government in recently announced the formation of the “Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group”, with “comprehensive supervision and all Cash infrastructure, including has more flexibility and efficiency of the infrastructure steps, and to consider how to ensure that these infrastructures needed for users to be able to better Cash service channel.”
In addition, the British Government has reiterated that it has abandoned its earlier 1 pence and 2 pence abandonment plan and insisted on a parallel payment system for digital payments and cash payments.
The finance committee has also called for a review of businesses that do not accept cash payments.