SmartDebit responds to Payments Council’s ‘Access to cash’ research

Commenting on reports

The two reports published by the Payments Council review consumer and business satisfaction with access to cash. The quantitative research analysed the overall picture, surveying consumers and small and medium-sized businesses. The majority of consumers (81%) stated that it was very easy for them to obtain the cash they required. Sources of cash, including ATMs, counters and cashback, all received high levels of satisfaction from consumers.

The majority of people responding to the survey stated that access to cash has improved in recent years. The survey results were compared with findings from three years ago; 24% of people think it is easier for them to get cash now and 71% think that nothing has changed. Just 2% of consumers believe it is harder to get the cash they require. Small and medium-sized businesses tended to report low cash use but most have no real concerns about withdrawing cash.

A SmartDebit spokesperson from the bureau commented: “Whilst the industry continues to focus on futuristic payment methods and the impact these will have on our everyday lives, the Payments Council’s research highlights the critical importance of cash for many people across the UK. Barriers to cash are still affecting a minority of people, primarily low-income consumers and those living on out-of-town social housing estates. As a result they are feeling embarrassment about having to draw small amounts over the counter in a bank and hardship from going without.”

He continues, “The industry must continue to innovate when it comes to payments, however, the minority cannot simply be forgotten about. Those who are worried about using electronic payment methods through fear of receiving unanticipated charges must be educated, ensuring they have the confidence to incorporate them into their personal financial management”.

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