/ Money

We want the freedom to pay. Our way.

While there has been a decline in its use, cash remains immensely popular and important for many people. In a huge win for the 140,000+ supporters who backed our campaign, we welcome the Government’s move to commit to protecting it.

Update 03/05/2019

We welcome the government’s unprecedented commitment to ensuring cash continues to be available to those who need it.

With bank branches closing at a rate of more than 60 a month, and thousands of free-to-use cash machine disappearing from our streets, this is a huge victory for the 140,000+ supporters who backed our campaign.

David Chaplin, head of campaigns at Which?, said:

“Millions of people across the UK who rely on cash in their daily lives are currently at risk of being stripped of their ability to pay for essential goods and services – so the Government’s unprecedented commitment to protecting cash should finally offer them some reassurance.

This new body must act urgently to address rapid changes to the cash landscape, as its success will be judged by how it ensures people can continue to access their preferred payment method in the face of bank branch and cashpoint closures, intermittent broadband access and regular IT glitches affecting digital payment methods”

You can read more about the history of our campaign below.

Campaign launch 12/02/2019

For some, cash is a day-to-day necessity they couldn’t live without. For most of us it’s a vital backup when digital payment systems fail.

Cash is a reliable and trusted payment method and that’s why we’re calling for the UK’s cash infrastructure to be protected for as long as people need it.

Freedom to pay. Our Way.

Millions of people across the UK rely on cash for essential purchases. Around 2.2 million, have said that they are almost entirely dependent on cash to live their lives.

Don’t trash cash

From those in rural areas to those on low incomes who use it to budget, from older people who’ve always used it to small business owners who need it for trade – we know that having free access to cash is still a necessity for over 25 million people across the country.

And we are concerned that over reliance on card-based and digital payments could mean everyone is left struggling to pay when these systems go down.

There have been a number of problems relating to the processing of payments in the past 12 months, including the outage of VISA payments last year and recent IT failures for RBS, Barclays, TSB, Halifax, Co-op and Cashplus.

Pay your way

We believe everyone should be able to pay for goods and services with whichever form of payment suits their needs – and cash should be protected for as long as we need it.

2018 Which? research shows that almost three quarters of adults in the UK say they use cash at least two or three times a week, including 60% of 18 to 24 year olds.

We’ve become concerned that without regulatory oversight to help manage the transition, the millions of people still reliant on cash risk being left behind.

That’s why today we launch our new campaign to ensure everyone continues to have access to cash and we are calling on the government to appoint a regulator that will help protect the UK’s cash infrastructure.

We’re calling for:

■ The government give a single regulator the statutory duty to protect your access to cash and to build a sustainable cash infrastructure for the UK.

■ The Payment Systems Regulator to immediately stop cash machines disappearing from communities that rely on them.

■ Banks to ensure customers are adequately supported as we move towards an increasingly digital society.

Cash is king

There are few topics that have attracted so much debate in our community as access to cash. And we’ve been listening.

Jen wrote last year:

We are in a village with no cash point and now no banks at our nearest town. If cashpoints are closed we will all struggle. Bus services to larger towns are also being reduced so it’s going to be really difficult for us to manage our finances.

And Andrea wrote:

It’s not just a question of obtaining cash. I have had the misfortune to have several attempts at fraud on my bank account this year. Now my local branch has closed (and the ATM removed, of course) if my account is frozen again I have to go with photographic ID to another branch.

The nearest is about 3 miles away, and there is a bus service and I do have a car, but it is still very inconvenient to have to drop everything and rush off to this branch.

Our regular community member Wavechange added:

There could be various serious consequences of removal of ATMs. People who had difficulty in accessing money could keep more cash at home, encouraging crime. Those who don’t understand computers/phones and security issues are more likely to be subject to fraud.

Removal of easy access to cash also pushes us towards a cash-free society, though the ban on card surcharges has temporarily delayed this with many small businesses reasonably refusing to take card payments for small transactions.

No one’s in any doubt that cash use is on the decline, but without a central body to protect those who still need to use cash, too many are at risk of being left behind.

That’s why we think paying for goods and services with cash should be an option available to everyone in the UK for as long as it remains necessary.

Do you still use cash on a regular basis in your day to day life or in your work or business? Has your access to cash, such as from cashpoints or banks, been reduced in recent years? We’d like to know your stories.

 

Comments

Banks and financial institutions have a mission to make cash obsolete . This is an assault on our individual freedom to spend and own our own resources . Already they are having the cheek to bring in machines that charge people to access their own cash it’s an absolute disgrace and should be criminalised by the regulators before the banks get the idea they have more power than government. Or is it already to late perhaps ?

Peter Gallagher says:
6 March 2019

I agree with the sentiments above

IRENE says:
7 March 2019

The next thing to happen will be people withdrawing all their cash (including savings) and keeping it at home. Very scary thought.

John says:
1 March 2019

This goes further than just a few individuals needing to access cash. This is the deep state trying to obtain total control and must be stopped at all costs.

I have been put on reduced hours at work and now am on a very tight budget. I use cash for all my day to day needs as a necessity this way i can keep a tighter rein on my budget and realise what i am actually spending as it is not invisible.
It is my right to pay this way as it is my money and is a system that has been used for thousands of years.
I see this as another form of banking bullying.

Steve Murray says:
4 March 2019

I think this debate is very one-sided, with most people claiming that they need cash. When the real challenge is the small traders that don’t choose to take it. There is really very little (if any) need for real cash now, with almost everyone taking cards and contactless as a much SAFER, accurate and convenient way of transacting. I thought of Gem, in the video who needed cash to pay her arrogant taxi drivers, who stubbornly hold on to cash. Why? because they think it’s safer to drive around with lots of cash in their car, ready to be mugged? Why, because they have it all completely on record ready for their accounting and tax returns? I know there is a small cost to enable yourself to take contactless, but it’s not much and is outweighed by the security benefits and the ease of use for yourself and your customers. But what about someone in a wheelchair like Gem – having to carry (and manage all the coins) like Gem. All because a few people stubbornly refuse to give a card option. No wonder Uber was so popular, compared to black cabs that needed piles of cash to pay them.
With cards you have; No change filling your pockets and getting lost. No money burning a hole in your pocket. No cash to steal (you can call your bank and get your cards cancelled very quickly). Quicker and more accurate transactions as traders not rummaging for change. The same money you have in cash, but you won’t loose some of it in coins.
With cash you have; Money to spend, it’s clear how much you have, but will you spend it all? or just what you really need?. A pocket full of coins or a wallet full of notes to steal with no chance of getting it back. Potential to be holding counterfeit money.
Even for kids, there is little need now. Providers such as go-henry deliver pocket-money cards that do contactless and chip & pin – which I find encourages the kids to save rather than spend whats in their pocket. There really is no good reason to have cash, other than the few traders that refuse to accepts cards for their own reasons.

Thanks for telling us about Go Henry, which appears to be a card and app for kids aged at least six. I’m not sure what five year olds will have to say about that, but at least it’s an option for older ones who cannot have a current account or conventional cards.

Perhaps you have a solution for charities, many of which remain dependent on cash and cheques. I regularly receive cash and occasionally cheques as a volunteer for a small charity and we operate in an area away from buildings without even a reliable mobile phone signal, so I don’t imagine that card payments would work. Even where card payments are possible, there are costs to charities.

Steve Murray says:
4 March 2019

Thanks for the reply. As for Go Henry and 5 yr old kids, to be honest, I’m not sure what 5 year olds will be doing with cash either at that age 🙂 Mine certainly wouldn’t have needed any.

Charities however, is a bit of a challenge – but not sure that’s to do with the lack of a phone signal. Actually, as more and more people don’t carry cash, what happens to people living rough asking for change. It’s difficult, but let’s think about a broader solution, rather than clinging on to “the way we do things”. Cheques, for instance are getting very rare – personally, if I receive one, it’s a pain as I now need to go to a bank and pay it in (unless of course I have the new feature from some banks that allow you to take a photo). There are of course a number of cashless payment systems, such as PayPal – which works for many people, but not all. Certainly though, I am not advocating we all stop using cash all together, but I am advocating choice to pay without cash any where it’s possible.

Actually, one might wonder if you’re collecting cash for a charity with the traditional bucket for change – how many people are bypassing because they don’t have cash, or small change. How many would make a charitable payment if there was an easy electronic option?
https://tech-trust.org/payment-gateway-small-charity/ < Not all great, but it's a start.

It seems that GoHenry has been around for a couple of years and the idea was supported by crowdfunding: https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/sep/14/gohenry-pockets-4m-app-teaching-kids-money-management

After a free trial for a month, parents pay £2.99 per child per month. There are no overdraft facilities, so no risk of punitive interest fees.

I wonder whether children will be delighted to have a payment card or would prefer to opt for a little more pocket money by saving their parents the monthly fee.

It seems a little odd that some are happy to pay nearly £36 a year to access your own (well, your parent’s) money, using a card whereas they could not contemplate paying a small fee for an ATM transaction.

However, I’m old fashioned. I do not believe children should be encouraged to use plastic payments until they understand the value of money. In my book, having “real” money, that you must extract from your purse and wallet, hand it over and see your wealth dwindle, is a good grounding in learning to handle your spending.

There is some useful information given by MSE:
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/cards-for-under-18s/

Here is a link focusing on pocket money apps and accounts for younger: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-5650983/The-pocket-money-apps-claim-teach-kids-money-let-spy-spending.html One is for kids as young as four.

I’m far from convinced that making money easy to spend is the best way forward.

Steve Murray says:
6 March 2019

My young kids get on well with their cards – but we’re off on a tangent here 🙂

The key issue I have is that we talk about people needing cash to manage their day-to-day lives, but in my humble opinion, that is only because a few remaining businesses choose not to accept cards. That is not saying some people CHOOSE to use cash for their own means, such as budget control, but that is not the same as NEEDING cash for their day-to-day lives.

If people like Gem were able to pay for her taxis via card/electronic means, what reason would she have to carry significant cash around with her? I don’t mean to pick on taxi’s, but unfortunately they seem to be one of the last remaining legal businesses that want to insist on cash payments only. I can even pay for my morning coffee (from a sole trader, non-franchise branded) using contactless, and I can pay my local artisan baker (selling bread in the pub) using paypal – it’s not difficult.

It’s not just a question of how difficult it might be to use cards for all payments, it’s a matter of how people want to run their lives, and for many cash is a necessity for a variety of obvious reasons.

The other night I and a colleague used a taxi to come home from a meeting in the city centre and it was so quick and easy to see the fare on the meter, round it up, take a bank note and some coins out of my pocket, hand it over, and we were on our way. No fiddling about with a machine in the dark and tapping YES or NO for a tip. The driver was happy and I was happy. I don’t concern myself with why a taxi-driver wants to deal in cash; in my experience they can usually take a card payment if necessary but they prefer the ease and speed of taking cash. Newsvendors, chip shops, flower stalls, window cleaners, barbers, pubs and many other traders have no objection to taking cash so why disturb a system that works well for a large slice of the community?

So long as those want to use a card to pay for things are not denied the opportunity I don’t see why life should be made more difficult for those who don’t [or can’t].

I support what John has said, except that using a contactless card tends to be faster than using cash. For the foreseeable future we need to accommodate the needs of a society where a substantial proportion of the population wants to retain cash. In another Conversation, Ian wrote: “There is a sizeable chunk of society that cannot use card machines, either because of medical issue or because for one reason or another they cannot have a card. If we profess to be a caring society then those people need to be protected.” Thinking about the needs and wishes of others is paramount in a civilised society, in my view.

Steve – Many small charities still make extensive use of cash and cheques. One of the ones I’m involved with did look at card readers but at the moment we don’t see the need and we are aware of the running expenses. Card readers also need a mobile signal or WiFi and where our charity operates there is little or no mobile signal, never mind WiFi.

Thanks for letting us know about pocket money accounts with cards and apps. Time will tell whether they are good or bad, or more likely a bit of both.

I agree that contactless cards are quick and easy but some people who have them still prefer to enter their PIN, or pay by cash [as I still tend to in pubs for one or two drinks at a time]. I don’t think speed is a big issue. Nothing has changed in the last few years to change the amount of time we can spend paying for things. People are often just chatting or waiting, so what’s the hurry? It’s not the same as getting on a bus where delays hold everyone up.

One of the local organisations I belong to holds occasional coffee mornings and there is a nominal charge of £1 per person for those who wish to contribute. I cannot imagine a better way to collect this money than letting people just drop a coin or two into a jar or pot. Some give more and some can’t give anything, and it is all done discreetly without the performance of having to process a card payment and seeing who gives what.

I agree with your points, John, though I still remain opposed to Transport for London having banned cashless payments.

1. Will you provide your kids’ spends or reward small personal favours by bank transfer?
2. Will you be invited to the same rip-roaring party that all of the marketing consultants will enjoy when the government sells our spending trend details to them (in the same way that DVLA sells our car registration numbers and personal details to private parking companies if we transgress)?
3. Will you be overjoyed to pay the foreign currency conversion charges levied against all your spends – even against the smallest purchases that each carry a fixed minimum charge?
4. No, life’s too short, I’m going to bed – after all I’m 74 years old.

Wavechange – It is cash payments that TfL have banned on the buses.

Most London residents have an Oyster card [which saves money over buying a ticket for each journey in the same day] or a Freedom Pass [free for those eligible for concessionary travel and giving free travel on most public transport in and around Greater London].

People can also use a contactless bank card and get the same fares as provided by an Oyster card with a maximum daily charge. People from other parts of the UK with a concessionary bus travel pass can also use their card on London buses.

Given the extensive availability of those facilities there have been hardly any objections to or criticisms of the system and it is widely perceived as a great success. I think a nationwide provision of such a scheme would be a very good idea. I find it difficult now to see what the objections to it could be.

I am not sure what visitors and tourists or people without cards have to do to use the buses but those who, like me, live some distance away and only occasionally come into the capital can still have an Oyster card. TfL do seem to have found the way to enable cash to be eliminated for public transport travel without causing any significant inconvenience.

In London you can buy an oyster card from machines in underground stations or over the counter at many shops – with cash. You need one for each person travelling. It saves long waits while the driver would have to count out fares and change and issue tickets. Seems a system that works well. Otherwise we might be having a Convo about the catastrophic disruption to peoples lives caused by long delays at bus stops.

We have had Oyster cards since their inception, for our biannual London expeditions. Ours, therefore, are the original ones but I’ve never found the TFL folk any less than extremely helpful when I’ve been loading the cards prior to a visit, or lost a password or something else.

And they do make rapid travel around the heaving capital a relatively quick and easy process.

Card machines don’t always work and cards can be lost. I would not like to be a young woman who had cash but was denied the opportunity to travel home. I have absolutely no problem with cards being the norm but cash being accepted if the need arose.

Cash can be lost as well.

Of course it can, but I’m presenting the scenario of a young woman who has cash but no Oyster or other contactless card, or a problem with their card.

If the card reader on a bus doesn’t work then the driver has alternative ways of letting passengers board [free ride probably] and the bus or the machine is replaced at the earliest opportunity. Money can also be lost or stolen.

Cash can be used to buy tickets for the Underground and national rail journeys.so in the circumstances of someone who has lost their card or pass but has money on them they could take the tube or train as far as possible and then get a taxi home.

I think eventually we have to accept that provision is adequate and that the tiny minority who might occasionally be affected should not be favoured to the detriment of everyone else. We have not yet reached that stage of general satisfaction in respect of other payment transactions so there is no justification for withdrawing cash facilities in other situations.

I deplore the public houses that are doing that and feel they have broken the first rule of retail commerce; customer service should always come first – especially in the hospitality industry. The well-known saying was “The customer is always right (. . . even when they’re wrong)”.

Banks suffering major IT shutdowns every day, Which? reveals
4 March 2019
https://press.which.co.uk/whichpressreleases/banks-suffering-major-it-shutdowns-every-day-which-reveals/
”British banks are being hit by more than one major IT or security failure that stops customers from making payments every day, a Which? Money investigation has found………………………..” A bit creative, as over half the banks had between 0 and 7 failures in the 9 month period, the figures were spread across 28 banks and the research doesn’t say for how long the failures lasted. It would be useful to know the real impact. To say it “stops customers from making payments every day” makes a good headline but is not exactly an accurate representation of the situation.

”Previous Which? research has shown that ATMs vanished at a rate of 488 per month in the second half of last year,……. ”. As has been pointed out before, this is a misleading “statistic” ( in my view) as the great majority of these vanished ATMs seem to be from places where they are in groups or not too far apart. Far fewer “protected” ATMs (more than 1 km from another) seem to have been lost. As I understand the latest LINK report 116 “protected” ATMs have closed in the last year, but 90 of the locations have a local alternative free source of cash, or were in premises not available to the public, or were subject to security problems. That leaves 26 which are being offered enhanced premiums to keep them open, or where LINK are seeking members to operate them. However, if someone shows that such a large number of lost ATMs were more than 1 km from another I’ll revise my view.

“This highlights why it is so important that a regulator is given responsibility to protect cash as a backup when technology fails and to ensure no-one is left behind as digital payments become more common.” This research seems to be to support access to cash, on the basis that we need that to make payments we cannot make when the banks systems temporarily go down. However I suspect many such failed payments would be ones many cannot make by means of cash, or at least not at all easily.

“A straight-line projection would see cash use end entirely by 2026 – though this seems unlikely.” says the interim report. Indeed it does seem “unlikely”. I see no reason why a “straight line projection” should be applied to such a trend, which seems to be based upon volume of cash transactions, not value Many transactions will increasingly be carried out much more conveniently “electronically” but that does not mean cash will not be used; it may well be that a large number of cash transactions will simply be for smaller value payments.

I am totally in favour of not only retaining access to cash through existing means, but making it’s availability easier and more widespread, so that those who have never lived within relatively easy reach of an outlet will benefit. So, as well as ATMs, banks, post offices and cashback in larger stores I suggest we need to think in a more open-minded way of how we can extend the availability of cash. We may not need large amounts, so maybe cash businesses, for example, could be encouraged, given incentives, to provide cash. It would not only benefit them, but their own businesses. I’m sure other ways will spring to mind, rather than relying on just ATMs.

A well balanced and thoughtful post Malcolm. It would be useful to know who has been inconvenienced by the loss of cash access when no ATM alternative is available. In these cases there needs to be social help regardless of profit and loss. The weak point of cashless transactions is the need for internet access at all times and the check that what has been charged is what has been spent if receipts are not issued. I bought some spare parts last week. I used a card for these and accepted the payment. Only later did I wonder why I had not had a receipt itemising the goods… mind on other things at the time. Tap and go is swift in a hurry and easy to forget checking the amount. I also wonder about the length of the monthly statement when one has to plough through the hundred or so minor purchases listed there for milk, bread and newspapers and confectionary. Pay cash and forget about them. Like Wavechange, I need to pay in large amounts of coinage and cheques as treasurer. I now travel some distance to do this after bank closures here.

Which? has a campaign about freedom of pay, our way: https://campaigns.which.co.uk/freedom-to-pay/

I want to obtain cash my way. Post Offices are not open in the evening and those who use self-service checkouts are not currently able to get cashback, though I hope that these machines will be able to act as mini cash dispensers in the near future. It’s harder for those who work night shift, so we need to think about everyone.

In 2019 I don’t think be thinking about new ways of manual handling of cash when ATMs have provided an efficient service for years.

Vynor – You make an important point about receipts not being issued for contactless payments and the large number of transactions on statements. I insist on a receipt for all contactless payments and so far have not seen any duplicate transactions or other mistakes. If I did not use cash for smaller payments I would have a very long credit card bill each month.

What I do with charity donations is to pay them into our account and keep the money for my own use, so I rarely have to visit an ATM between April and October. I don’t envy you being a treasurer. A week ago I contacted the Post Office and asked why I needed pre-printed paying-in forms to deposit cheques, but have not yet received a reply.

You often get asked if you want a receipt or told you have paid when you are credit card is still making its way to the machine, not really a problem when paying for a coffee, but for anything else, it is your only proof of purchase. So should stores be withholding receipts unless you ask for them?

“In 2019 I don’t think ( we should?) be thinking about new ways of manual handling of cash“. The whole point about cash is that it is manually handled. Many post offices have significantly longer, and more convenient opening than bank branches ever had. If you want cash back then use a checkout. I withdraw the cash I’m likely to need until my next visit to town or the nearest branch/ATM and keep the surplus at home; I can then obtain my cash immediately I need it.

“so we need to think about everyone.“. That is exactly the point I keep making. Not “everyone” is near an ATM – far from it. The considerable number of people living in my area are not, like in many parts of the country. So I suggest we do need to think about “everyone” by finding ways of making provision of cash available to as many as possible. That will not be through a huge increase in the number of ATMs. We need to think of more ways.,

“I want to obtain cash my way.”. How do you suggest cash is made available for you?

The number of Post Offices has halved since the early 80s and the one I used to live near closed about 15 years ago. I’ve described what happened to the one in our village elsewhere. Longer hours are little help to those who work nights, and in the evening the only tills that are open in the local supermarkets are self-service ones. I am not arguing against your point about making cash available in other ways but will continue to support retention of ATMs.

I also support the retention of ATMs, but I recognise that where there are groups they will be thinned out as usage declines.

Interesting about nightworkers. Many who worked “days” could not access a bank branch as they often closed at 3:30. Nightworkers have the opportunity to visit during their opening hours.

3300 bank branches have closed since 2015. 11500 post offices took on the role of providing banking services for the banks’ customers, usually with better hours. That seems like a net gain.

The closure of bank branches has often been accompanied by the closure of ATMs that were often available 24 hours a day.

I presume that the reason for multiple ATMs in an area is because it’s commercially viable to keep them, which is why it is common to have two or three machines at supermarkets.

LINK provide an ATM locator map:
https://www.link.co.uk/consumers/locator/
I think the point about ATM’s being removed from multiples is that they are no longer all necessary to match demand and will not necessarily be commercially viable.

As I’ve explained before, the Link map is rather useless because it shows distances ‘as the crow flies’. A friend lives in a village that is only two miles from a shop with an ATM. Unfortunately there a river in the way and it’s four times the distance by road. If Google and route planners provide useful information then why not Link?

We have 14 ATMs in our town centre and I doubt that they are all needed but it’s not uncommon to see two ATMs out of action at the out of town supermarkets, which is not much fun if there are only two.

In general I think the distances given for the ATMs are good enough, together with the map showing their locations. If they are “as the crow flies” then I don’t see how they can be better presented for most situations.

As you say, 14 ATMs in a town centre are not likely to be all needed. I don’t know the record of out of action at our supermarkets but if it is a common occurrence I’d complain to the supermarket.

There are 50 ATMs within 2.2miles of one of my family’s house, as an example. 12 between 0.14 miles and 1 mile. That seems like more than enough.

Using distance by road would make more sense. That’s what what we do if we use a route planner, sat nav or Google.

A common reason for ATMs being out of action is that they are out of cash. It may be more cost effective to provide an extra machine so that the need for refilling is less.

Knowing our town centre fairly well and the fact that not all of the ATMs are accessible 24/7, I’m not sure if there are more than needed to serve the area. 50 in a small area does seem a lot, and maybe some of them could be relocated to the highlands of Scotland, where they can be few and far between.

Letter received by post from my bank yesterday……,,,,,,

Dear customer,

At the moment when you have a handful of cheques left in your cheque book, we send you a new one. But from March 2019, we’ll no longer automatically send you a replacement. You’ll still be able to order a cheque book yourself if you’d like to have one.

Why is this happening?

We’re doing this because there are lots of new ways you can bank with us. Paying people or bills with our mobile app. Telephone Banking or standing orders is safe and secure as well as being convenient. You can also visit one of our branches to use a Cash Deposit Machine. One of our members of staff will be happy to show you how.

New cheque books
However, if you still need a cheque book, you can order one online, over the phone, or at an ATM.

Yours sincerely,
(Name supplied)
Current Accounts

With ATMs fast disappearing along with branch closures, and telephone banking questionable, is this yet another ploy to force me into banking online?

A friend received the same message from the bank recently. It may be that the banks are getting ready for another attempt to phase out cheques. Many shops won’t accept them.

I use a few cheques and they are invaluable. I have no problem with ordering a cheque book online, just as I order personalised paying in slips.

ATMs are not fast disappearing by location, generally only by excess numbers it seems. Post Offices offer banking facilities – for many they will offer more convenient hours.

Banking has evolved, initiated of course by the development of online banking but then taken up by us, the customers, by using it in increasing numbers. I don’t see how we can keep the old system intact as well as the new. We need to find an acceptable balance

Using a mobile phone to bank is asking for trouble. The keypad is small and easy to mis-type on and the screen also small and unhelpful moving pages around. Those with a basic phone can’t access the account anyway. There is also the risk, when using a mobile phone to bank that the signal might drop half way through a transaction leaving a worry that instructions are unclear and incomplete. I don’t think I can send payment via my telephone, except when previously setting up an account with a specific organisation and using a pre-set code. In any case I prefer to sort finances at home and write cheques when card payment is unavailable or I wish to post the payment. What the bank thinks as convenient is simply not so.

When I can be convinced about security I may use my phone for banking, but cannot see any need for the time being. I presume that it is safe enough to check account balances using an an app, though I have not done this. It’s a good point that mobile signals can drop during a phone transaction.

JAMES H EMERY says:
4 March 2019

I need a cash point every other day or night I do not need to travel across town to find one that works/or open

Wayne says:
5 March 2019

I purchased a watch from internet it packed in after one and half days I replaced battery still not working I contacted which by email which informed of consumer rights act 2015 I informed said company hyperstech that they have 14 days notice to repair or refund or replace they don’t recognise warranty or consumer rights so what is the next step please I’ve sent numerous emails and to you heard nothing from you but had emails from said company saying I have to send video of watch to them so there so called can solve problem but I can’t see how they can solve problem without taking watch apart they must use X-ray vision if video shows watch lieing on table doing nothing

If you purchased direct from Hyperstech in the USA then the Consumer Rights Act that protects you probably doesn’t apply as it is UK legislation. I’d send them a video as they request and see what they propose. If it was sufficiently expensive you could ask a watch repairer to tell you what is wrong and report that back.

If it is the same Hypertech given trustpilot reviews they don’t look good.

If I’m correct then I believe the contract terms apply according to the country where the contract was made. That’s to say if the order was placed and paid for from here, then the CRA should apply. But a nod from one of the legal folks would be useful…

I cannot immediately see any information about claims relating to goods bought from abroad on the Which? website, but it’s not something I have wanted to do. A claim against a credit card company would be a possibility, and Which? can help here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act

I don’t think Wayne should have dismantled the watch to replace the battery because unless parts are stated to be user-replaceable, dismantling products will usually void the guarantee or warranty, no doubt because the company has no idea of whether the user is competent or not.

It is concerning that it seems Which? has not responded to Wayne’s e-mails. It would be courteous to do so even if it is only to say that Which? does not provide a Q&A service for consumers and include some useful links.

I agree but suspect that there are insufficient resources to deal with large numbers of queries. It seems clear to me that the ‘regulars’ are lacking in legal knowledge other than in specific areas that come up regularly, such as the Consumer Rights Act and parking. Having expert advice in other areas would be very useful and one way would be to provide it via the website.

@gmartin – Would it be possible to add information about our rights about goods purchased from overseas to the web page covering faulty goods?

Agreed. I put “your rights when buying from abroad” into the main search box in the Which? main site and it returned 11 answers, all related to university halls and fees.

Trying different search techniques returned nothing useful ,so I tried Google itself. Here it got interesting.

There seems little consistency of advice; the only thing that was consistent was to always, always use your credit card. But it would be good to have some advice from the W? legal bods.

Hi all. My apologies for missing this, especially as I was @’d in. I’ll speak with Amelia about potential advice for goods bought overseas.

I’ll also try my best to find out what happened to Wayne’s emails. There isn’t a lot to go on here, and Wayne has posted as a guest so may be hard to track down, but I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks George.

Val Freeman says:
6 March 2019

I have been treasurer of a local small needlework group and membership fees have to be paid each year. Cash or cheques are needed for this purpose. There is no way such a group and I suspect many like us can go digital. The same applies to stalls at charity events and paying by card for a morning paper is a nonsense.

The whole cashless thing is about control. Once money is solely “numbers on a screen” then there is no freedom from the whims of the banking cartels. It’s imperative that we protect cash as part of the resistance to the draconian control grid that we are seeing imposed increasingly, day after day. We should all read 1984 😉

Simon says:
6 March 2019

I don’t like the idea of a cashless Britain. The mere idea is ludicrous, the UK is headed for a toletarian society, I mean a government forcing people to go cashless! Whatever next, what happened to the days of piggy banks? What happens if the banks fail? Another 2008? What about our money👁

Stuart Thomson says:
6 March 2019

It’s a fundamental right for individuals to have the freedom of choice.
Having cash gives you options.

Physical cash is a really important way to budget. It’s so easy to lose track of spending on cards, but a physical cash limit of so much a week sets a practical restraint on spending. People who are mentally unwell can all too easily run up huge debts on cards, while cash can support their budget intentions.

Also, how would children learn to understand money without their own cash pocket-money?

Danny says:
6 March 2019

Cash in your pocket is tangible. People have a right to have access to it wherever they happen to be locally or nationally.
A cashless society will be yet another step towards making the vulnerable, who we all have a responsibility towards, feel ever more cast adrift.

Money makes the world go round.
There are too many “Deals” done that can not go through the books so cash will always be needed.
Problems will occur when tourists visit us and feel unsure about how the money is valued.
How will small amounts get paid for pocket money, tips, charity donations for the collectors on the street.
What do you do when the card system fails again, now you can borrow a £10er to get by
So let us run the two systems and keep every one happy, that’s what governments are supposed to do.
Norman Courtnell

Ruth Kosminsky says:
6 March 2019

The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick maker; want to be paid in cash. It’s a fact of life. There are very few competent traders want to be paid by card. No cash-no job done. When you’re in a dire situation and you need help asap; worrying about if you can pay by card is a “hole in the head” that you really don’t need.

Mike says:
6 March 2019

Unyill we can get a guarantee that digital money will be safe and accessable without software errors, we ALL need to have a secure access to cash whether at a bank, supermarket or ATM…..Please keep cash until we have a safe banking system……

Margaret says:
6 March 2019

Just today I couldn’t use my parking app as the o2 telephone mast had gone down thank goodness I had cash with me and I hadn’t picked up my bank card so yes still need cash

Mary Smalley says:
6 March 2019

We should have the choice as to whether we use cash or cards to pay for goods and services. Street traders, market traders, antiques fair traders, car booters and other small businesses could be harmed if the use of cash is not protected by law and could cause traders to go out of business, leading to unemployment. There are massive potential repercussions which can be avoided with the correct legislation. The government should not be influenced by banks or other large institutions, they should protect the interests of the “little people” who are the majority.

Julian Barter says:
6 March 2019

So many of our freedoms are being lost, so we should fight to retain any freedom under threat. Npt everyone has a bank account, credit card or smart phone. We must fight for the right to use cash,