Bank boss highlights the number of shops now refusing to take cash from customers

Cash will become harder to use as the rise of plastic and phone apps continues, the Bank of England’s deputy governor has warned. Sir Jon Cunliffe believes the increase in contactless and online shopping means it is going to be increasingly difficult to spend physical money on the high street.

He said: “Cash is likely to decline further and cash itself will become less usable in everyday transactions.

“The mass shift away from physical cash to electronic payments has been very clear and is set to continue.”

Speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Summit, Sir Jon thinks it is now essential for the BoE to develop a digital pound – an electronic version of sterling – to shore up confidence in the UK’s financial system.

Card payments took over cash as the most dominant form of payment for retail in 2016.

By 2021, 85 percent of transactions were made electronically, through either plastic or by bank transfer. Nine in 10 people use contactless payments.

And it is now commonplace for stores in major cities to be cashless.

The Daily Express’s Save Our High Street Banks crusade calls on these shops and businesses to offer consumers a choice.

Dennis Reed, director of the Silver Voices over-60s campaign group, said: “We get regular reports from members that they are finding it difficult to access and spend cash. It’s another isolating factor for older people and it’s of great concern.”

The bank has said it will continue to issue cash “as long as there is any demand for it”.

A significant minority of the population, often those who are most vulnerable, is still heavily reliant on physical currency and Sir Jon said the institution would not abandon them.


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