A new “click & collect cash” service is set to be trialled next month in the latest effort to ensure vulnerable communities still have access to physical money.
The “Cash in Shop” pilot is set to launch in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent next month as part of the wider Community Cash Access Pilot scheme.
This experimental new service will allow customers to see which local shops have cash available and then pre-order it for pickup via an app.
They will then be able to collect the cash free of charge without any obligation to make a purchase.
The service, run in partnership with cash management giant Loomis and Swiss fintech firm Sonect, will even allow shoppers to order cash to be delivered to their doorstep alongside groceries with the Sonect app.
According to data from the Access to Cash Review, 8 million people in the UK are at risk from the rapid demise of the “fragile cash system”.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) recently revealed that nearly 10,000 free-to-use cash machines have been lost over the past two years, while only an estimated 10,000 remain.
While the majority of the country is comfortable with the shift to digital payments, these pilot schemes seek to protect those who still rely heavily on cash.
This group is largely made up of elderly and low income citizens who may not have access to bank accounts.
“A huge portion of society relies on cash, so we need to keep innovating to ensure we have the infrastructure to support demand,” Loomis UK’s commercial director Simon Wood said.
“Cash in Shop is a fantastic initiative which matches the needs of consumers and retailers, and will improve the availability of cash in the areas that need it most.”