/ Money

Cash Summit: Securing our Freedom to Pay

We’re today hosting a follow-up summit to ensure cash remains a viable method of payment. We’re also launching our Cash Friendly Pledge – here’s how it works.

15/12/21: UK Finance proposals

Today, UK Finance launched proposals to support people’s access to cash. The solutions were achieved by the Access to Cash Action Group (CAG) created ahead of our Cash Summit in May, in which UK Finance Chief Executive David Postings made a series of commitments to enduring people can continue to access cash.

We welcome these proposals, but we believe that only legislation can secure cash’s future. Last week we called on banks to pause branch closures until new/alternative solutions to support access take effect.

We’ll be watching closely to see how the measures are working, and prevent communities from being cut adrift.

13/05/21: Post-meeting update

At today’s Cash Summit we were delighted to hear Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen confirm that a consultation on cash legislation will be launched in the Summer. This is an extremely positive development towards getting these critical long term protections introduced.

The government must deliver at pace on it’s promises, or risk leaving the cash system vulnerable to further damage. 

We also heard about UK Finance’s commitment to protecting access to cash, and the launch of its new Cash Action Group, which will be led by Access to Cash Review Chair, Natalie Ceeney, in addition to renewed commitments from the Post Office and major banks to supporting the provision of cash access for consumers.

While we welcome and support efforts from across the cash system to make progress on this issue, we are clear that voluntary initiatives or public commitments can not replace government or regulatory oversight. 

We now need a firm commitment from the Treasury on when this legislation to protect cash will be introduced, as the system will continue to be under enormous pressure until it is brought forward. 

Cash summit

Two years on from our first Cash Summit, we’re bringing together key figures from across government, regulators and the payments industry again to cover the challenges, following the outbreak of the pandemic, as well as the potential solutions, to ensuring cash can remain a viable method of payment for those with no other option.

Now is a critical juncture in the fight to protect access to cash. Despite the government’s commitment to legislation in last year’s Budget, this has still not been introduced, and we remain deeply concerned at the slow rate of progress in getting these protections agreed and in place.

Today, our Chief Executive Anabel Hoult will be calling on the government to set out when legislation to protect access to cash will be brought forward, and to provide greater clarity about its long term plan to ensure that the millions still reliant on cash can continue to access it as the shift to digital intensifies.

The event will include speeches and contributions from Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen, FCA Executive Director of Consumers and Competition Sheldon Mills, Natalie Ceeney, who chaired the powerful Access to Cash review, Matt Hammerstein, CEO of Barclays, Jeni Mundy, MD of Visa UK & Ireland, David Postings, CEO of UK Finance and Nick Butt, Head of the Future Money Division at the Bank of England. 

Our Cash Friendly Pledge

To coincide with our event, we’re also launching our Cash Friendly Pledge, working with some of the biggest names in retail to protect people’s ability to spend cash.

The pandemic has undoubtedly had a dramatic impact on the way we access and spend cash. While many people have successfully made the jump to digital payments, enjoying the convenience and speed that cards and contactless can offer, there still remain millions of consumers who rely on cash.

In fact, our recent research found that 2.5 million people depend on cash for every transaction, while 10 million people say they are unready, or unable, to give it up. 

However, with more people shopping online and concerns that cash is unsafe to handle – which have since been debunked by the Bank of England – some businesses have discouraged the use of cash over card, or gone completely cashless altogether, leaving millions shut out from buying the things they need.

Late last year we found around one in three consumers had reported being unable to pay with cash at least once when trying to buy something since coronavirus restrictions were first introduced, including even essentials like food and medicine. 

That’s where our Cash Friendly Pledge comes in: a public commitment from businesses that they’re accepting cash as a payment method across their stores.

Who’s taken the pledge?

So far, we’ve seen some of the biggest supermarkets and pharmacies take our Pledge, including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, John Lewis, LloydsPharmacy and Waitrose. What’s more, we’ve also been backed by leading retail associations that represent tens of thousands of shops across the country.

The British Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores and the British Independent Retailers Association are all encouraging their members to sign up. The Bank of England has said that by signing up “businesses are helping to ensure that everyone in the UK is able to use the form of payment that best meets their needs”.

You can find out more about the pledge and see the full list of businesses involved here.

Additionally, we’ve supplied retailers with Cash Friendly Logos which they can use to signpost their cash accepting status in store and online, ensuring consumers feel confident that their cash won’t be rejected at the till. 

Which businesses would you like to see take the pledge? Let us know if you’ve spotted the logos while out and about and help us ensure that cash remains a viable payment method.


Have received calls from scams:

1. Amazon saying my membership was being renewed and to cancel it I must press 1 on my telephone pad. They then assure me not to worry since they can refund the fee once they have access to my computer.

2. A morning call from BT to say there is a problem on my line and it will be discontinued in the afternoon and I must press 1 to speak to an operator. They then assure me that they can fix the problem once they access my computer.

3. Call from Microsoft to say my computer has been compromised and they need to “fix it” by my allowing them access to my computer.

I know I should put the telephone down immediately but I cannot resist pressing 1 and giving them a load of abuse, it does make me feel better.

All my scam calls have come from people with either Indian/Parkistan accents and on further investigation, I find that the majority of the scam call centres are in India. It appears that the Indian authorities do little to stamp out these call centres even when their actual locations are reported to them by the UK authorities.

I note lately that the scam call centres have started to use local UK telephone numbers. This is obviously a further confusion for the person receiving the call since previously we would tend to recognise a scam call since it showed up as an “International” call.

The problem is that even when the incoming telephone numbers are UK numbers and are reported to the UK carriers they appear to do nothing to stop them from operating. Surely the UK carriers are in a position to stop scam calls being made on UK telephone lines!

If the carriers cut off their access to scam telephone lines once reported we could at least curb a great number of scam calls.

I sympathise with you, Rick. Isn’t it strange how so many acute problems crop up on the same day that all require access to your computer?

I need a similar sort of assistance but it is never offered. I would love to give someone access to my lawnmower so that they can restore our garden to its pre-weather-beaten condition. Unfortunately the usual suspects are never in the area when the need arises, but if they would just make contact I could then spend more time doing essential work and activities on my computer. There’s a gap in the market here, so why aren’t the entrepreneurial ones trying to meet the demand instead of offering something we don’t want?

Rick – Don’t be fooled by the phone numbers you see. They can be ‘spoofed’ and the calls may not even originate in the UK.

You could consider getting a call blocking phone or, as an increasing number of my friends have done, switching to using a mobile.

A few days ago I had a call from someone claiming he was calling from The Insulation Advisory Line part of government grant scheme. He told me the insulation had previously had via government grant was causing mold and damp damage to properties. When I asked for his name he put the phone down. I have reported it. Sadly someone vulnerable may be taken in and it may be possible they could gain access to people’s homes.

Liz Muir says:
12 July 2021

I had a similar call. I said my loft insulation was fine and I wasn’t allowing anyone into my house. The person was quite pushy. I didn’t realise it was a scam but made it clear I wasn’t interested in the scheme. I had a lucky escape.

Vv says:
12 July 2021

Some called from PPI of UK up to no good very persuasive and countless rotten through and through

Deborah says:
12 July 2021

Just received a call from 07722 925607 purporting to be from the NCO saying they have had to suspend my National Insurance number due to illegal activity. I have blocked the number because NCO wouldn’t call from a mobile and there would be protocols to be followed if the reporting of usage was to be true. Have to be so alert

Pamela Woosey says:
12 July 2021

Scammed by someone purporting to be from Amazon last Nov even brought the NCA into it. 3 weeks ago text saying someone had tried to infiltrate my National Insurance No. Get phone calls with only one ring on landline, press 1471 and the number always begins with 000 – told to reeplace receiver.

Marie Mrs M Lee says:
13 July 2021

Being constantly “scammed” by telephone saying Amazon are taking a year’s subscription out of my account for renewal of Prime or did I know ex amount of money had been taken from my account and if this is you please press 1 Have phoned Amazon who say this would never happen. Upsetting as sometimes my seriously disabled husband answers which leaves him very distressed until I try and explain it is more than likely a scam. Also had scams re Sky. You just have to try and be aleert to them.

Jennifer says:
13 July 2021

I have received the same scans as above. Nearly gave into one who said I’d payed something to China on my credit card. I so concentrated on this that I didn’t realise until almost too late but he was really after my computer details I thought I was very scam aware the voice was even Indian but I still was nearly taken in

Amazon tells me im due £*** to keep my Prime account going. BT says my internet isnt working and they can sort it on line”. DPD say i must pay them several hundred to get my order delivered, and RBS offer me a large prize for using my debit card ( opt in now!). Do i live in Scam City? I forwarded the RBS one and got an Email back saying thanks and that they check out every suspicious email reported to them. I am getting so paranoid about this that i only open emails from folks i know. I must admit to having a bit of fun with the phone calls and pretend im a dithery old lady who has to go check her address then come back saying my son has arrived, he’s a policeman and the phone is slammed down their end! Beware of callers with Indian accents calling themselves Miranda or Jonathon who get very angry if you question that. I block every scam number but there is always another one!

Gurth Scriven says:
16 July 2021

Most mornings we get a scam call – same woman’s voice – currently we seem to be doing illegal naughties with our internet/broad connection and we’re to be disconnected in 24-48hours – which with the amount of poo coming our way from Amazonia and a variety of developing countries during the day might bring welcome relief.
After every spam call we do the Call Blocker Thing ( 1572 ) for all the good that does – apart from making me feel better for few seconds.

Michael Smith says:
16 July 2021

Every day i receive a pop up from McAffee telling me that I am unprotected and asking me to sign up for anti virus software even thought I have installed anti virus software

Em says:
16 July 2021

Have you installed the web browser plug-in to protect Chrome / Edge etc?

Or It could be Ad-Ware that has crept in past your existing anti-virus software. If the latter do a full scan.

Jemima Oxenborough says:
16 July 2021

My ninety-one year old mother-in-law receives scam calls every day. She finds it confusing and distressing to have to fend these people off. Surely she should be protected from this kind of crime? She doesn’t ignore the phone when it rings because it might be from a friend or family member and it’s difficult for her to learn to be assertive and put the phone down on these people.

Alison Sampson says:
17 July 2021

Over last couple of days I’ve had a surge of unknown texts and mobile phone calls, all suspicious. Last phone call came from a mobile number almost identical to my number, claiming to be Royal Mail.

Betty says:
18 July 2021

I also have had phone calls with numbers simalar to mine a good way to get rid is to keep them on the phoneand waste their time by acting as though you just dont understand and asking question to compleately a nnoy or block i do after these calls i find phone companys are not good at stopping thes calls even when youve paid a fee…

Betty says:
18 July 2021

It is easy to be scammed believe me. Never ihnore you gut feeling somthing s not quite right. It probably isnt confide in some one you trust and reportit definitely…

I have in the last 3 weeks received 2 scam emails asking me to provide substantial amounts of money to ‘generate a substantial income – less 40% to the sender!! Both are from European sources’
I also frequently receive emails so say from BT about my accounts – as they are not addressed to me personally I always forward them to BT phishing dept

My son contacted me yesterday to check that we hadn’t sent him a parcel. He had had a call on his mobile stating that Royal Mail had wanted to deliver to him that day (despite it being a Sunday !) but were unable to do so as there was an excess postage charge to pay. As a young adult he was aware of it probably being a scam but felt he had to check as he was expecting a letter from us. If they had tried this with my elderly mother, when she was alive, the response might have been different.

Royal Mail now do parcel deliveries on Sundays Christopher and it was a surprise to me when a parcel was delivered a couple of months ago.

Since Royal Mail probably deliver something at least once every week to almost every address in the land I would have thought it would be a good idea to issue a postcard-sized leaflet to every household making it clear that Royal Mail will never send a text or e-mail message asking for a payment.

Only in cases where Royal Mail act as a fulfilment partner for a company would they actually have a recipient’s contact details but they don’t use them for this purpose.

Postage is paid by the sender and where the amount paid is not enough the postie leaves a card for the recipient to complete, affix stamps to and return, or go on line and make payment confirming the reference details from the card. The one drawback with that process is that Royal Mail normally does not know — so cannot give details of — the sender of the item.

Matthew Sala says:
21 July 2021

Personal and even SMBs banking in the UK offers abysmally poor service which has become much worse with the EXCUSE of Covid (65’ waits to obtain tel advice as an HSBC Buisness customer; on Lind advice which is useless; etc,etc).
As customers we have already very little protection and worse no easy recourse following accounts being fraudulently accessed by organised criminals – both UK based and from abroad).
We desperately need solid legislation to protect UK banking customers.
Dr Matthew Sala

Matthew — I doubt if more legislation is the answer to the points you have made.

Have you discussed your complaints with your bank manager or business account representative?

If a company lets you down or provides sub-standard service, it might be worth reviewing your continued patronage. Nobody has to stay with a bad bank.

Gary Taylor says:
22 July 2021

I have always kept my details to myself on social media and commercial data gathering transactions. I get substantially less approaches from scammers. If they do make contact, be nasty and they don’t come back. I worry for other who are too trusting and polite.

Cash is king, there is no dept when you pay with cash, this contact less payment will indeed cause dept
it allows the spend thrifts in our society to spend over their limits and will in time be a pitfall for the rest of us when we all have to pay higher taxes to pay for those contactless few who over spend how is that progress for godsake !

Nicola Ball says:
30 July 2021

I so much agree with you Mr Philip Black

I’m not sure how people spending more money than they have at their disposal can lead to tax rises for the rest of society. So far as I can see, being in debt is not confined to those who pay with cheques, direct debits, standing orders, or credit cards. If people cannot contain their expenditure within the available funds or agreed limits then their bank or other service provider will step in to adjust their position. Any ultimate liability for that will lie against the profits of the bank, not taxpayers.

Grace Boyle says:
16 August 2021

I am appalled with the assumption that mainstream media are using Covid as an excuse to push for the cashless society. What about the less fortunate who may not even have a bank account. Also the elderly and some people with learning disabilities. I also want some privacy to spend my money without leaving a digital trail.