/ Money

Have you not been able to use cash during the pandemic?

Many people are reliant on cash day to day. We want to hear your experiences of how the pandemic has made it harder to use.

Earlier this year we campaigned to protect people’s access to cash, and have been working hard to get the government to introduce this protection in legislation. But, what’s the point of having access to cash if there’s nowhere you can spend it? 

We’re concerned that an increasing number of shops are going cashless during the coronavirus pandemic. Because of these concerns, we’re launching a simple tool that people can use to tell us about their experiences of being unable to pay for things with cash.

Card payments only?

In June, Which? published research that found one in ten consumers had been unable to pay for things with cash since the coronavirus outbreak

What’s more, 26% of this group said they couldn’t purchase the good or service because they didn’t have another way of paying, forcing them to leave the shop empty handed.

While the pandemic has encouraged many to try digital payments for the first time, a large number of consumers continue to rely on cash and for many, often vulnerable people, it’s their only way of paying. 

We believe it’s therefore critical that consumers can continue to use cash to buy the things they need in their daily lives, including essential goods like food and medicine. No one should have to go without purely based on the payment method they have access to.

What’s your experience?

Which? has heard from many consumers about times when they’ve been unable to use cash to make a payment, whether it be for a parking ticket or at their high street pharmacy, resulting in wasted time, money and for some, stress and concern.

Indeed, our research found that of those who tried to pay with cash and had been refused, over half felt emotional stress, while 15% felt a high level of stress.

…I therefore have to use local shops which are not only much more expensive but entail me having to go from one to another as I cannot get everything we need. In addition we are now finding some places are insisting on contactless payment. Neither of us have this having always used cash. So before long we won’t be able to purchase food anyway….

A Philips

We know some people have had difficulties with their cash being refused, but we want to find out more. Use and share our tool to tell us about the times when you’ve been unable to pay for things with cash.

Your stories and insight will help us understand who’s being affected and in what ways, and ensure we can pass on the right concerns to Government and regulators who are working to ensure people’s access to cash is protected, including the Financial Conduct Authority and Payment Service Regulator.