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Feed into MPs' inquiry - share your views on society becoming more 'cashless' with Coronavirus

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Feed into MPs' inquiry - share your views on society becoming more 'cashless' with Coronavirus

edited 9 October at 4:45PM in Coronavirus support and help
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MSE_ThiriMSE_Thiri MSE Staff
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MSE Staff
edited 9 October at 4:45PM in Coronavirus support and help

A group of influential MPs – the Public Accounts Committee – is conducting an inquiry into how well the Government is managing the production and distribution of cash. It wants to better understand the effect the drop in cash use over the last 10 years has had on different groups of consumers, and is especially curious about how the recent push for cashless payments in light of Coronavirus could have impacted consumers’ experiences. 

We’d like to be able to share your views with these MPs, to help inform their investigation. If you would like to contribute, respond to this thread letting us know what you think and your experiences of using cash. Feel free to freestyle, or if you want some prompts you can answer some or all of the following questions: 

  • What are your attitudes to cash? 
  • Have your attitudes to cash changed over the last 10 years? If so, why?
  • Have your attitudes to cash changed in light of Coronavirus? If so, why?
  • Have you been negatively affected by society becoming more ‘cashless’? If so, why?

Please remember that we don’t allow Forum users to post any personally identifiable information on the Forum.

If you would like your comment to be forwarded to the Committee, please reply to the thread no later than 18 October. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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  • se2020se2020 Forumite
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    I run mobile bars.
    Cashless would be an advantage with no change to have to carry around and faster/easier transactions. Lower risk of casual theft from staff and less risk of us getting robbed of the till or held up on the way home.
    Also save trips to the bank to pay the cash in.

    It is a long way off though. By nature, most of the places we go are remote and often in an old barn with big thick stone walls. You need a good phone signal for a mobile card machine to work or wifi for some of the other apps. Not going to get that in a field everytime.

    One of those things that will probably work fine in a city but move out of the town centre and there is no chance.
    Only 66% of the country is covered by 4g at the moment so maybe they should see if they can get a phone signal everywhere first before they worry about making all payments done by it.
  • Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    se2020 said:
    I run mobile bars.
    Cashless would be an advantage with no change to have to carry around and faster/easier transactions. Lower risk of casual theft from staff and less risk of us getting robbed of the till or held up on the way home.
    Also save trips to the bank to pay the cash in.

    It is a long way off though. By nature, most of the places we go are remote and often in an old barn with big thick stone walls. You need a good phone signal for a mobile card machine to work or wifi for some of the other apps. Not going to get that in a field everytime.

    One of those things that will probably work fine in a city but move out of the town centre and there is no chance.
    Only 66% of the country is covered by 4g at the moment so maybe they should see if they can get a phone signal everywhere first before they worry about making all payments done by it.
    They didn't bother to wait for coverage before insisting that smart meters are installed, even where the installer knows before he starts the installation that the mobile signal isn't good enough for it to work, so I wouldn't be confident that will happen.
  • spirospiro Forumite
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    Over the past few years I have used cash less and less and covid has probably increased that as more places are taking contactless even for the smallest amounts. I think it would be good for a target to be set for when the government sees us going cashless. It will also increase government revenues because it would eliminate the black economy.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
  • MoneySeeker1MoneySeeker1 Forumite
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    There's pros and cons to the Black Economy. I don't think I've ever earned any money in it personally in my life - but I admit to sometimes paying people that way and I do it because that's what I can afford (as a single/low income person). Right now - I do know it's how some of my friendship circle are managing to survive (yep..."survive" - no high-rollin' living).

    What we need is a clamp down on the wealthy - like higher rates of tax and, as we have a National Minimum Wage - there should also be a National Maximum Wage. If Lockdown can be/is being imposed internationally - that does rather beg the question as to why we don't have a National Maximum Wage - rather than people (I wonder who that might be? Hmm..) arguing "Oh the rich will just flee the country". Well they can't flee Lockdown (though much more protected from it than we are) - so one wonders what would happen if there was the political will to ensure they couldn't flee a Maximum Wage and decent tax rates for higher-paid either.

    Personally - I'm using cash as much as I ever did and I simply don't want the hassle of having to keep track and check on loads of cashless payments. I'm keeping smaller payments as "When there's money in my purse - I know I've got some to spend. When there isn't money in my purse - I've spent up to capacity" and it's very easy to see what I've got left for minor spending purposes (just open my purse and count it - job done in a couple of minutes).

    Also - as a perfectly honest person and not earning in the Black Economy at all - I still don't see why every little bit of money I spent should be available for some faceless someone somewhere to be able to check where I was and at what time - by monitoring my spending. If I want to spend a whole day out buying myself a coffee in one place, a lunch in another place and a newspaper in another - that's up to me and I don't expect to be capable of being "tracked" whilst doing so and can't be if I've paid cash for everything. I'm entitled to my privacy - without anyone telling themselves they have the right to invade that - they don't full stop.

    Woke up in a parallel universe some months back - where it says it's Earth, it looks like Earth, some of it is familiar - but it obviously isn't Earth (because nothing makes any sort of sense any more).

    There is some sort of logic on Earth - but there isn't any on this alternate planet that calls itself Earth.

    Living on what is possibly the most attractive planet there is - but it's certainly also got the most illogical people living on Earth (in the main).





  • Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    There was a 98% income tax rate in the seventies, and exchange controls. Dennis Healey promised to "squeeze the rich until the pips squeak". It didn't work, apart from ensuring the few remaining privately owned stately homes ended up in public ownership, and the seventies was a miserable decade for everyone. The world has moved on from there. Even in the seventies, a lot of high earners (particularly pop stars) left the country. All the footballers would move to clubs abroad. The truly rich can live anywhere they choose. They like to be in London, but impose high rates of tax and they would leave. Lockdowns last weeks, not lifetimes, so would have no effect. You may say you don't care if they leave, but that doesn't raise the taxes you want raised.
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  • What we need is a clamp down on the wealthy - like higher rates of tax and, as we have a National Minimum Wage - there should also be a National Maximum Wage.
    How do you think the tax burden can be increased for the wealthy if you're going to reduce the income on which they pay taxes? 
  • AranyaniAranyani Forumite
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    MSE_Thiri said:
    • What are your attitudes to cash? 
    • Have your attitudes to cash changed over the last 10 years? If so, why?
    • Have your attitudes to cash changed in light of Coronavirus? If so, why?
    • Have you been negatively affected by society becoming more ‘cashless’? If so, why?
    • I find cash an inconvenience and would rather it were gone, but I do appreciate there are a lot of issues around that for certain groups of vulnerable people such as victims of financial abuse, people without access to banking services or with no fixed address etc. 

    • No, I've used very little cash for years now. 

    • I haven't been put off using cash, if anything its been one very minor positive of the coronavirus situation that more places are getting geared up to accept card/app payments.  Places like Sweden and Norway have been largely cashless for years, I've visited and not seen a single coin of the local currency, so it is possible, but then they tend to look after their most vulnerable better than we do. 

    • No, not at all, its been a positive for me.  The only mild annoyance is that I never have change now for a big issue, or for a birthday collection, or to put in a charity bucket etc. 
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    • What are your attitudes to cash? 
    How will the next generation learn to manage their money well?  Useful in certain situations. 
    • Have your attitudes to cash changed over the last 10 years? If so, why?
    Most certainly carry less around with me. 

    • Have your attitudes to cash changed in light of Coronavirus? If so, why?
    In terms of protecting others by reducing transmission. 
    • Have you been negatively affected by society becoming more ‘cashless’? If so, why?
    Prices have increased to cover transaction fees. 
    Suppliers no longer give discounts for cash.
    Accelerated the "buy now pay later culture". Which inflates prices to consumers. 
    Less change for charity collections , buskers etc. 
    Less change for car parks etc
    Not having a card with me when there's no cash option to pay. 
    “Buy value, not market trends or the economic outlook. Individual stocks determine the market, not vica versa." - Sir John Templeton
  • Nebulous2Nebulous2 Forumite
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    Around 20 years ago, I’d go to the ATM and withdraw £200. When it was nearly finished, I’d go back and withdraw another £200. I was going to the bank roughly once every 10 days. That amount has decreased steadily since then. Before the lockdown I was generally withdrawing £30. That would last 6 weeks or so. 

    I acquired a £20 note, in early March, stuck it in my purse and it is still there. So I had a steadily reducing reliance on cash which has accelerated since then. 

    During lockdown we have been clearing our loft in preparation for a house move. Some stuff has gone to the skip, some was given away, and some stuff has been sold. We now have close to £1000 in cash stashed at home, more than I can ever remember keeping for a prolonged period. We are waiting on someone painting some external woodwork, and somebody else overhauling our roof. The intention is to use it to pay the tradesmen. 

    I suppose that means we have two contradictory positions. Rarely spending cash, never going to an atm and using contactless wherever possible, while at the same time selling stuff for cash and building up a modest hoard. 
  • MoneySeeker1MoneySeeker1 Forumite
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    Indeed - valid points re other people.

    How to:
    - pay a child money "from the tooth fairy"
    - give them their pocket money
    - give to charity collectors of any description
    - take part in "whip rounds" for things (well it would save on the office collections I guess - which are certainly very slanted to people living "conventional" lifestyles). So that's a mixed one
    - surely everyone wants to keep their private affairs private and not "tell" whoever-it-is where they are several times a day (just by virtue of their purchases)?
    - battered wives (and husbands) indeed being able to build up an "escape fund" and those living a Western lifestyle in our Western society (but young enough that they are still living in parental household and at risk of ideas like arranged marriages etc from different cultures to our own). Both from the pov of them accummulating "escape money" and also those who might want to contribute to their escape money - in an untraceable way.


    Woke up in a parallel universe some months back - where it says it's Earth, it looks like Earth, some of it is familiar - but it obviously isn't Earth (because nothing makes any sort of sense any more).

    There is some sort of logic on Earth - but there isn't any on this alternate planet that calls itself Earth.

    Living on what is possibly the most attractive planet there is - but it's certainly also got the most illogical people living on Earth (in the main).





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