Which? Cash Friendly Pledge Launched

Cash is essential for millions of people in the UK, but bank branch and ATM closures are making using cash harder every day. The consumer champion Which? is inviting all retailers, large and small, to sign the pledge, which has been launched in response to concerns that cash is becoming increasingly difficult to spend as businesses turn to digital payments, a problem that has intensified during the coronavirus pandemic. 

A massive shift towards online shopping over the last year and scare stories about the safety of cash handling prompted some businesses to go completely cashless which led to a huge drop in cash usage. Which? research found that 34% of consumers reported being unable to pay with cash at least once when trying to buy something since coronavirus restrictions were first introduced. Now that restrictions are gradually lifting, Which? wants to ensure that the 10 million consumers who are not ready or able to give up cash are not left in a position where they can’t pay with notes and coins as a result of businesses permanently refusing cash.

Thousands of supermarkets and shops around the country have committed to continue to accept cash after businesses – including some of the biggest names in retail – signed up to Which?’s cash-friendly pledge, an initiative designed to ensure that millions of consumers who rely on cash are not excluded by the transition to digital payments. Aldi, Asda, Co-op, John Lewis, Lloyds Pharmacy and Waitrose have all made the public commitment to keep accepting cash in their stores, recognising that not all customers are yet ready or able to pay digitally. But this not just about the big boys, this applies to smaller shops as well.

The Which? scheme has also been backed by leading retail associations that represent tens of thousands of shops across the country. The British Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores and the British Independent Retailers Association are all encouraging their members to sign up. The Federation of Small Businesses is also promoting the scheme to members that want to maintain access to cash for their customers.

Where consumers see the “Cash Friendly” Logo (shown above), they will know they accept cash. You can sign up for the pledge here, promising to accept cash as a method of payment for those still wanting to use it.