The UK’s first ‘click & collect cash’ trial is set to be rolled out to more locations across the country following “fantastic” feedback.
The trial, which was launched in Burslem and Tunstall in Stoke-on-Trent in March, allows customers to see which local shops have cash available and then pre-order it for pickup via an app, with no obligation to make a purchase.
Shoppers can also order cash to be delivered to their doorstep alongside groceries with a dedicated app.
It was launched by Swiss Fintech firm Sonect alongside UK cash management giant Loomis as part of a wider Community Cash Access Pilot scheme, and has reportedly proven popular with users in the area.
“The feedback on this new service has been fantastic so far,” Sonect’s UK director Ron Delnevo said.
“Customers really appreciate the certainty of knowing where and when they can pick up their cash without the obligation to make a purchase. At the same time, our retail partners are benefitting from increased foot fall and more efficient use of the cash in their businesses. I am confident every community in the UK will soon be ready to welcome this innovation.”
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.
Tony Riaz, who runs Sonect retail partner One Stop added: “This is a really important scheme for the local community around our shop. There are many local people who rely on cash through choice or necessity.
Partnering with Sonect means we can help them get all the cash they need to shop and live their lives to the full. The Sonect app makes providing free access to cash easy. It is already making a significant difference and that will grow as more and more of our customers appreciate the benefits of using the Sonect service.”