The Future of Access to Cash | IPT
Chair: Anne Marie Morris MP, Member, Treasury Select Committee
Speaker: John Howells, Chief Executive, LINK
Speaker: Eric Leenders, Managing Director of Personal Finance, UK Finance
Dinner Discussion


Tuesday 23 April 2024


Westminster Hall

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In December 2023, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) published its Payments Survey indicating that cash usages made up 19% of all transactions. This reflects a choice by many households to use cash to budget more carefully during the cost-of-living crisis. Although there was an uptick in cash transactions, cash remained the second most popular method of payment at 14% of the total of payments made. Alternative payment methods could make cash obsolete by 2026 – but millions of people remain reliant on cash for everyday payments. In January 2024, the Post Office saw £3.37bn worth of transactions up by £140 mn in January 2023, demonstrating the Post Office as a hub for cash transactions as physical bank branches decline. Advancements in technology, such as biometrics, make copying and fraud increasingly difficult highlighting the positive impact the transition can make. Although cash helps to reduce fraudulent activity, data and cybersecurity issues can mean consumers are wary of changing their payment methods. With over 8 mn people still reliant on cash payments, how can the UK move forward to ensure that those still requiring access to cash have the infrastructure to do so?

The event will:

  • Examine how the effects of both the cost of living and inflation have contributed to an increase in cash use and if this trend is likely to continue.
  • Discuss how to create a resilient financial infrastructure that can strike a balance between digital and physical payments that provides choice for the consumer.
  • Understand how best to support consumers who rely on access to cash and are unable to transition to digital only transactions.