A new “coinless, not cashless” app is being trialled in the UK allowing retailers, pubs and restaurants to continue accepting cash without dealing with small denomination coins.
British start-up Shrap describes itself as a “digital coin jar” which blends physical cash payments and digital or mobile payments into a single seamless system.
When a customer pays for a purchase via cash, instead of receiving a handful of coins their change will be stores on the Shrap app or card.
Customers can then store up top £150 in their Shrap wallets for free, which can be transferred to the users other bank accounts used to pay for goods of up to £10.
Shrap’s new system, which it says is more hygienic than using coins, has now launched real-life trails in Rochford, Essex, as part of its Community Access to Cash scheme, running until the end of September.
Yesterday John Lewis, Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lloyds Pharmacy and Waitrose all signed up to a new cash acceptance pledge committing to continued acceptance of cash payments.
It is the latest in a string of initiatives designed to protect the estimated 10 million people who still rely on cash, largely made up of elderly and low-income citizens who may not have access to bank accounts.
Recent research from merchantadviceservice.com, suggested that over half of UK businesses would like to see cash payments removed entirely from their day-to-day trading, laying bare the scale of the shift away from physical money.
Free-to-use cash machines are also disappearing from the UK, providing further hurdles for those who rely on physical currency, seeing 10,000 disappear over the past two years.