/ 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?

Sean phillips says:
16 February 2019

This is about control. China are in this boat & the govt control everything about what they say, do & where they go. This is totalitarianism in action and woe betide us if we go completely digital. The mark Of beast is warned of in the Bible & that’s where we are going with rhis.

Stephen Smith says:
16 February 2019

What has happened to ‘freedom of choice’? I, like many others do not bank ‘online’ and depend on cash points more and more as local branches are few and far between. If the cashless society does materialise, what happens when the system crashes for a couple of days? How do we pay for anything during the system failure? Keep the cash option, keep the ATM, stop closing smaller bank branches.

Chantal says:
16 February 2019

-do They want we spend more than what we have?
-Controlling our finances is more secure with cash.the reality is hardsher than digital gimmick.
– finally where is the concept of freedom in this society?

Sue Stemson says:
16 February 2019

I am a great user of cash and do not use a card for anything under £10. I do not want to pay for an ice cream, a birthday card or a coffee etc with a card, it makes it so difficult to account for my spending without keep having to look at a bank statement. As a pensioner on a limited income I find it far easier to get £10 or £20 from the bank or an ATM and then account for my spending as I go along, in that way I know exactly how much money I have left. I realise that to the younger generations this seems very old fashioned but on several occasions I have been out with a young friend who lives by her card and we have been to places where only cash was accepted and it was just as well for her that I had cash. I realise that in this day and age older people are thought to be a nuisance by some but we do contribute to the economy and one must remember that everyone eventually gets old. It is just so sad the the Banks are no longer a service.

Geoff Williams says:
16 February 2019

I live in the Dales, in Weardale, it was bad enough when Barclays closed their branch in the town last year, with a promise of ” hole in the wall” to access money, but that was a lie, as the machine has been out of order frequently, luckily I can drive , but there are many people who now have to travel, somehow, much further distances, its 2019, its appalling!!!

At present, I am lucky in that my Lloyds Bank branch is not slated for closure. However, I agree with the comments make about the lack of access to Cash, it has to change. It is all about cash, the banks are closing branches to save money and broaden their profits, no thought for the customer.

carol says:
16 February 2019

Cash is absolutely essential. Many of us rarely or never use digital payments. It’s partly about security, both of the cash itself and the associated data – when the thieves take my money I don’t want them taking all my personal information with it. And it’s partly about freedom and choice and control. When I make a smaller purchase I don’t want the seller mining my data (why do shops want my email, my home address and even my date of birth for a small over-the-counter purchase?), and I don’t want the bank, the internet provider and the government knowing what I bought, and where and when I bought it. It’s none of their business! I’m no luddite – I’m tech-savvy and up-to-date. I have cards and I use them, but not all the time. It’s vital that I decide where and when and how. Oh, and I’ll never do contactless. When I request a new card that isn’t contactless it’s wrong that I should be made to feel there’s something wrong with me. Two banks have lost me as a decades-long customer over that one.

Victoria Fairbrother says:
16 February 2019

What government in any country has the right to dictate how the majority of people live their daily lives? If taxes are paid and laws are respected let us live in the way which suits our needs and also our beliefs. The people’s water was sold to private investors……..our gas and electricity likewise. It wasn’t the governments to sell! It is now an all time consuming game to keep changing to avoid the greed of shareholders. How long will it take for a government to understand the needs and freedoms of the people they represent? Respect.

Cash is used in our village shops all the time and they would not be able to function without it. We are very lucky in having two cash machines in our very busy village, along with a post office counter, in the local newspaper and convenience store, which is always very busy.

Ruth Sober says:
16 February 2019

If I go into Boots to buy a packet of emery boards,price £1.20p will I be expected to pay buy card? What nonsense. Cash is an essential part of any society and those proposing to take cash out of our lives are doing so only to be noticed.Silly deluded fools.

Ruth, I doubt that cash will be phased out anytime soon.

That said, I’m sure Boots would be happy for you to pay £1.20 by card (contactless or otherwise).

But smaller, privately run, rural pharmacies might not be ready to accept cards for such small amounts.

Joan Perry says:
16 February 2019

I bank on line, and pay most things by card, BUT I still use cash for little things, I can just imagine how much the card companies would love it if everyone paid everything by card, a 25p packet of sweets or a box of matches, totally ridiculous idea.

John, I don’t card companies would mind. On the other hand, I think retailers are the ones who may be having problems with small amounts being paid by card.

Cash is so important to the future of our country . The elite Private Banking families are systamaticaly taking control of all our moneies .
At ANY stage when they don’t like you – THEY WILL switch you OFF .
CASH IS KING and taken world wide .

Bernard waine says:
16 February 2019

Cash is an essential, for the security of disabled people, mentally vulnerable, and those effected by dementia or alzhiemer’s.
It is essential for tips in many cases, as company accounts departments will in some cases, only distribute benefits to frontline staff on a percentage basis, ensuring the balance is retained for “overheads”.
Many of the older retired generation have only ever experienced a cash / cheque system, they find it hard to trust a little bit of plastic, when they possibly only ever handled cash. Remembering pin numbers is a complete nightmare for them, as the fraudsters are aware, a large majority of these old people only have one number for everything, and are naturally scared stiff of the system.

Diana says:
16 February 2019

I am treasurer of a local competitive music festival. Audience members pay £1 per session, plus £2.50 for a programme. Cash is the only practical way to collect this. Several of our venues are “not-spots” with no mobile phone or wi-fi access. Moreover, as we are dealing with a large number of people in a short time, having to take card payments would take too long, and would probably cost too much for our volunteer-run organisation.

I am increasingly reluctant to use digital methods to pay for things. Once companies have your bank details and take what they feel they are entitled to it is very difficult and even impossible to get your money back. I have lost moeny to Paypal, Amazon Air fare companies like Kiwi.com, and Wizzair. There are items we can no longer buy from shops and are forced to use the internet. If you do not understand the jargon or spot a discreet box to tick or the web page goes down while in the middle of a transaction you are ‘stuffed’. Cashless societies are wide open to fraud and exploitation.

We used to have 3 banks in my small town we are now have none
If we lose the last ATM at the railway station ( one has been taken out already) we will be cut off from our money
I don’t live in some deprived place but in a very nice Essex town forty miles from London whiere people outside the area would believe we have access to all the necessities

A cashless society would be at the mercy of every crooked organisation in the world, and I include governments and all state run agencies in that category. The old saying “cash is king” will always be true and they know it! We must resist and fight against this creeping cancer in the financial markets with every opportunity we get.

Guy Holman says:
16 February 2019

I heartily agree with Chris Wakeling. Without cash, Big Brother can so easily take over and rule all our lives.

David says:
16 February 2019

I have a healthy suspicion of online transactions, though I do conduct some. Several of my friends, however, do not have online access and for them cash is essential. It is quite unacceptable that the digital world should be regarded as the default, as seems increasingly to be the case.

“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.”

As ever, folk should be careful what they ask for, both here and elsewhere…

1. I think this is a poorly worded question. Possibly that has been done deliberately, to provoke various responses, as is custom-and-practice for some W?C wind-up questions or perhaps we must just hope that Mark Carney’s financial skills far exceed his literary ones.

2. As evidenced by the many posts above, I don’t think it will be practicable to get rid of cash anytime soon. If anything, for me, the most significant impact of digital transactions has been to vastly reduce the number of cheques that I use. But, long before the rise of the machines, sorry internet, standing orders and direct debits already existed as alternatives to cash or cheque payments.

Hilary says:
16 February 2019

I belong a number of voluntary run organisations. I do not think that any of these would be able to function without the use of cash, (or cheques). We have an aging society, and the local branch of the U3A, the National Trust, the local History Society, the choir, and Townswomens Guild, take cheques in the post for yearly membership, but collect cash for attendance at meetings. Credit card/debit card/machines are not an option for a number of reasons, and without cash it is likely that these organisations would not exist – leaving thousands of older people all over the UK without the friendship, companionship and many interests that these organisations bring – as well as enabling them to live very active lives. I cannot imagine our local Church using a card machine for the collection after the Sunday service!