/ Money

Mark Carney: Let’s decide the future of money

Does cash hold a place in the future of money or are digital transactions now king? Our guest author Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, wants to know your thoughts.

Money is evolving. So is the way we pay for things, the financial services we use and how we keep the financial system safe.

Bank notes are in the process of moving from paper to polymer, and for many people payment by plastic card is the norm these days.

We’ve seen the rise of contactless payments and even the emergence of crypto-currencies. These changes have implications for consumers. They also matter a lot to us here at the Bank of England.

We print bank notes, we process payments, and we keep your money secure by ensuring that banks and the financial system as a whole are resilient.

Changing payments

Understanding how people use their money and how they feel about changing trends in money and digitisation in financial services more broadly is really important to us.

That’s why we set up Future Forum: the Bank’s first virtual event where we’re asking consumers to talk to us about anything concerning the future of money.

We want to hear what you think about cash, contactless payments, the service you get from banks and building societies, and much else besides.

Perhaps you’ve signed up to the Which? ‘Save Our Cashpoints’ campaign and want to tell the Bank why access to cash through these facilities is so important to you.

Or you might have signed the Which? Action on Scams campaign because you have concerns about the risks associated with bank transfers and new forms of cybercrime. You can share your experiences with others on the Future Forum.

Cash question

Future Forum isn’t about navigating to the end of the road for cash. Bank notes will remain an important form of payment for many years to come.

But new forms of payment are becoming ever more common. And, as we look to the future, we want to know what this could mean for you, whether you’re young or old or whether you live in a city or a rural area.

Our Future Forum will be here until January 2019 and some of those people who are most active on the platform will be invited to a roundtable event with our Governors.

Many of us will be taking part in live Q&A sessions on the platform over the coming weeks, so please register now so that you can take part in these conversations.

This is a guest post by Mark Carney. All views expressed are Mark’s own and not necessarily those also shared by Which?.

What do you think about the future of money? Do you think there’s still a place for cash – or do you pay for everything on plastic?


At 67 years old the government decided I should be taken off DLA and had to apply for pip the outcome was that I had to give up my mobility car hence I now have to use taxis to get out and about how can I do this without cash. Again our conservative government is discriminating against the ill infirm poor and disabled there are thousands of people who can’t get a bank account just what will they do.

The use of cash or credit cards to pay a bill means that the retailer knows about you and your purchasing habits. Using cash to pay prevents them having access to my purchasing activity.

Some shops have a minimum charge for using cards. Also, in social situations, such as an ordinary bar, cash is mainly used. Also there is the very important principle of freedom of choice in this country and a freedom which must be maintained to have free ATMs – the banks, government should uphold this freedom of choice and what is an individual liberty..

Diane says:
19 February 2019

I prefer to pay cash for all my purchases. In the past, I have had a couple of fraudulent payments on my card, so prefer not to use it, as it just causes problems.

Prue Stokes says:
20 February 2019

There is no cash point near my address but I have my pension paid into the post office bank and collect cash there regularly. I am 89 and no longer drive. We still have a PO in the village. Long may it remain.

We are benifits and live rurally we don’t get money included in our benifits to pay charges we struggle anyway and one of us is disabled aswell so hard to travel to far away cash points

I mostly use cash for general purchases. It is a freedom that should never be removed. Cash is anonymous. Though cash is partly traceable it allows people to do simple trade transactions without the corporate world stalking us constantly. We are now the most watched at any time in our human history. Stalin would love it. Cash can of course enable crime but so did the banking industry through digital transactions on a colossal scale. They just paid a few fines though for their people and drug trafficking and terrorist enabling. Who watches the watchers? Politicians? Lol. They outsource to some of the companies that use digital processes to facililitate terrorism elsewhere in arms and personnel. Digital isn’t the answer as it also doesn’t ask the right questions. I’ll stick with cash as long as possible. The corporate state system sells our information to all and sundry. It doesn’t represent us. It represents business and wealth. If digital was less criminal they wouldn’t allow it now would they? Tax havens & off shore trusts – what do they fund? If we aren’t allowed to know what the wealthy do with their ill gotten gains why on earth would we be happy for them to know every single thing we do?

I believe that the government and the banks have collaborated in ending cash transactions. They are scared of ‘money laundering’ by crooks. Innocent people do not encourage money laundering but will suffer in the endeavours to control this menace. If we wish to continue ‘CASH’ we shall have to find some way to end or reduce laundering of money. There is a lot of ‘moon-lighting’ and tax evasion. I THINK, A LITTLE CHARGE OF SAY £1 per £100 drawn would give government and banks incentive to allow cash transactions. After all, handling cash involves some labour. This ought to be paid for. I am a now retired CHARTERED BANKER. IN MY TIMES, WE COUNTED 3s, shillings and pence, free of charge. It was very laborious. It became simpler with decimal system. HOPE THIS IDEA IS HELPFUL.

I do believe that this move to a cashless society is nothing to do with Government, it is all to do with the convenience of Banks. The Banks were made independent of government many years ago.
In every town there needs to be at least 1 bank and 1 Building Society.
By going cashless the banks will know every penny you spend and on what. I feel this is intrusive and an invasion of privacy. In most cases they already know your income and where it comes from.
We are told that cash is King. Moves are afoot to make a plastic card king. Just plain wrong.
As pounds sterling is the currency of this country no business, no matter how large or small, should be allowed to refuse to accept cash.
Neither should banks be allowed to charge a business or people for depositing cash. They should be grateful for the business.
For information I use a mixture of cash and cards. I mention this to show that even at my great age I am not a ludite.