Letters: Keep a hold of your cash
[Re: Over seven in ten Brits worry for the elderly if UK goes cashless, yesterday]
Your article speaks to a debate that is important to address. It is not just the elderly that would be made vulnerable as in the UK, it’s estimated that 16 per cent of over 18s don’t own a smartphone, and according to The Office for National Statistics, around 2.7 million UK adults don’t have access to the Internet.
There has been a serious push in recent years for the future elimination of cash, however recent studies show that the British public is both not ready for and unsympathetic to the aim of, doing away with cash. The report cited also found that 61 per cent of Brits still use cash and ATM machines at least once a month.
There is a school of thought that moving away from cash will prevent crime. But using cash does not make a person a criminal, and they should not be punished for it. The weight of responsibility for mitigating criminal conduct should be on financial institutions, not the general public.
The reasons people are unbanked or don’t access finances digitally are many and varied. They should not be punished for this. It will be those most deprived in society who would suffer as a result, those who lack internet access, expensive smart devices and even the basic identity information necessary for Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.