Start of the end of cash

Seeing quite a few shops post that they will no longer take cash due to COVID-19 do we think this will be the start of the end of cash?

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Same at our previously cash only work canteen last week. Would like to believe so, but cannot see it personally. Lots of inertia and weird nostalgia. I mean some people are even getting all “blitz spirit” about viruses right now, especially the cash core audience

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What they don’t realise is that in this case, they are the Luftwaffe.

No, I think over time there will be shops that figure out procedures for safely handling cash, because they will still have to accommodate a large number of people who can only pay this way, such as the elderly.

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Aside again from wisty fumes of nostalgia, I am never quite clear why the elderly are quite so attached to cash. I mean my aged grandparents, all too recently rest their souls, loved a big and rather evocative pocket of coins throughout my childhood, but they did still pay on card regularly. Don’t benefits get paid in direct to bank accounts these days? Genuine question

In my experience* it’s because they find it easier to budget with cash. Pension gets paid in they draw it all out, and then they can physically see how much they’ve got to last until the next payment.

ETA: *conversations with customers while trying to encourage them to use our self-service card payment machines instead of approaching staff.

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My Gran always used to use card I think she would have loved Monzo!

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Yes, pensions and benefits do get paid in directly to bank accounts these days (just like salary payments) so it’s not like the money starts as cash, effort has to be taken to draw it out.

I think it is a mix of nostalgia and how older people have always done things, so they think “why change now”? I believe the first U.K. debit cards only came out in the early 1980s, credit cards were much earlier in the late 1960s, but a large number of people (not even necessarily the old) still believe it is somehow wrong to pay for small amounts by card.

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I can see the benefits of using contactless payments using cards but the banks need to act quickly and increase the contactless limit to avoid use of the keypads for pin entry during the coronavirus episode.

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Picked up a takeaway tonight and their contactless take away method also included a toothpick to put you pin number in. I though this was genius!

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If you use Apple or Google Pay, then you don’t need to worry about the limit 95% of the time (some terminals still run older software which doesn’t recognise the CDCVM technology which allows this). So really that is best as no need to worry about SCA (it counts as authorised) or the contactless limit.

I believe that, for many people, the coronavirus may have a significant impact in driving them towards these sorts of payments. It brings to mind the concept of “nudge theory”, which is basically the idea that a small nudge can result in a significant change in behaviour. It’s often applied in behavioural economics, for example. Right now, due to the virus, people are questioning how they can avoid contact as much a possible. Things which may not have made them think twice before, such touching lift buttons or cash, are now something they are considering afresh. I think we will see this leading to far greater use of contactless in general, as it is the logical way to pay with the least contact. It just takes a significant event to jolt the majority out of their usual habitual behaviour. The coronavirus may well be that event, and see cash killed off even sooner than previously thought.

It’s not just the elderly. It’s people of all ages who care about homelessness, privacy and migrants more than a little convenience.

My partner has a definite affinity with cash.
She does 99% of her banking on line, but still likes to have physical money in her purse.
Yes, at the moment, she is using card payments more than normal, but as soon as this is over, I know she will go back to the folding stuff.
This isn’t because of any trust issues or old fashioned ideas, she just like cash :grin:

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I think there probably a lot to be done for the small retailer. Many will be stuck on bad deals, and many of the average deals I suspect aren’t econmocial compared to cash for transactions under a few pounds.

Perhaps this is something that Monzo can help with as a product for businesses, either as a traditional card payment provider, or ‘Pay by Bank App’

For purchases the main town post office in Crewe, located in WH Smiths, was only accepting cards this morning. Accepted Monzo without problem for a purchase of Stamps