Monday 16 December 2019 12:24 pm

Metro Bank launches cash delivery service to woo smaller firms

Struggling high-street lender Metro Bank has launched a new on-demand cash collection and delivery service in a bid to attract the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses.

The challenger bank has today started accepting registrations for the service, called MCash, that it said could help the 4.2m smaller UK firms that rely on physical money.

Read more: Metro Bank chief Craig Donaldson to step down

The product comes as accessing cash becomes more difficult across the country as people increasingly use card and phone payments.

According to new research from Metro Bank, staff from one in three smaller firms have to travel to their local bank at least once a week, with 45 per cent saying depositing cash wastes their time.

Managed through Metro’s mobile app, business customers will be able to use MCash to select a day for a cash pick-up or drop-off with 24 hours’ notice and up to a week in advance.

Metro Bank shares were 4.3 per cent higher by midday at 205.4p as UK stocks climbed across the board following the Conservatives’ election win, which investors hope will bring some certainty to the economy.

Paul Riseborough, chief commercial officer at Metro Bank, said: “MCash brings the latest technology to bear on an age-old problem – how to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that need to deposit and withdraw notes and coins.”

Natalie Ceeney, chair of the Access to Cash review, said: “I’ve long questioned why you can order a takeaway pizza on your mobile app, but a small business can’t get cash delivered direct to its door.

“Metro Bank’s MCash service is exactly the type of innovation we need to see to tackle this issue and keep cash a viable option for millions of consumers nationwide.”

Read more: Metro Bank to be loss making in 2020 and beyond, Barclays warns

The product launch comes as Metro seeks to turn itself around following a bruising year. In September, analysts at Barclays said that a “challenged medium term operating outlook” means profits are unlikely to return to the lender for at least a year.

Metro’s chief executive Craig Donaldson revealed earlier this month that he will step down at the end of the year, bidding farewell to the lender after a decade in charge.