Cash could be delivered with food takeaways or picked up from shops in ‘click and collect’ service


Cash could be delivered with food takeaways or picked up from shops in ‘click and collect’ service under plans to improve access in areas without ATMs

  • Scheme by Loomis UK and Sonect will be introduced in Burslem, Staffordshire  
  • People will be able to pick up cash from their local shop after downloading app
  • Depending on success, the initiative could be developed to include takeaways 
  • Cash use plummeted in pandemic, with shops encouraging people to use cards

Cash could be delivered with food takeaways or picked up from shops in a ‘click and collect’ service under plans to improve access in areas without ATMs.

The scheme will be introduced in Burslem, Staffordshire, in March by money management company Loomis UK and Sonect – a Swiss firm which converts shops into ‘virtual’ cash machines.

People will be able to pick up notes from their local shop after downloading an app and setting aside an amount. They will not need to buy anything from the shop and the process will not incur a charge.

Cash use has plummeted during the Covid outbreak, with many shops encouraging people to pay by card in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.  

Cash could be delivered with food takeaways or picked up from shops in a ‘click and collect’ service under plans to improve access in areas without ATMs (file photo of a Lloyds bank branch in Plymouth)

Depending on its success, the initiative could be developed to include cash deliveries with takeaways across Britain.

Simon Wood, Loomis UK’s commercial director, told The Telegraph: ‘A huge portion of society relies on cash, so we need to keep innovating to ensure we have the infrastructure to support demand.

‘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.’

Ron Delnevo, Sonect’s UK director, added: ‘This will bring a great start to the new year for those who live in [Burslem] and is the first stage of a national rollout which will see this new and innovative way of accessing cash made available to everyone in the UK.’  

Eight locations across the UK were previously chosen to take part in an access to cash trial after contactless payments slashed ATM use by 60 per cent amid the pandemic.

Towns selected for the CACP initiative largely have ageing populations, including Rochford in Essex, Ampthill in Bedfordshire and Denny in Scotland where 16 per cent of the population is over 65. 

Natalie Ceeney, who led the Community Access to Cash pilot initiative, previously told Radio 4 that it is unclear whether or not cash use will ‘bounce back’ as more businesses adopt contactless only payments during the pandemic. 

‘ATM use unsurprisingly went down dramatically during lockdown, it went down by about 60 per cent across much of the UK,’ she said. ‘We know that a lot of shops have started preferring cashless transactions. 

Depending on its success, the initiative could be developed to include cash deliveries with takeaways across Britain (pictured: a closed-off ATM machine at London's Waterloo station)

Depending on its success, the initiative could be developed to include cash deliveries with takeaways across Britain (pictured: a closed-off ATM machine at London’s Waterloo station)

‘We don’t know how it’s going to bounce back, we strongly suspect it won’t all come back, so there are going to be shops who now prefer contactless transactions and there are going to be individuals who having done all their shopping online actually see this as a preference.

‘Without a doubt, Covid will have accelerated the decline of cash.’

According to UK Finance, 7.4 million people rarely or never used cash in 2019 – but 2.1 million used cash regularly. 

The CACP initiative focused on ‘digital inclusion,’ with better broadband connections and improved digital skills considered ways to help people to access money.

Other proposals included installing new ATMs, having a place for retailers to deposit cash locally, or sharing bank branch facilities. 

A customer wearing a face mask due to the Covid-19 pandemic is pictured using an ATM machine outside a Barclays branch in central London in June last year

A customer wearing a face mask due to the Covid-19 pandemic is pictured using an ATM machine outside a Barclays branch in central London in June last year

Ms Ceeney said: ‘Over the past decade we’ve seen a massive shift from cash to digital payments, and Covid-19 has accelerated that trend further.

‘But we know that digital payments don’t yet work for everyone, and for many individuals and communities, cash remains essential.

‘But the world is changing – we can’t just “magic” back our old bank branch and ATM infrastructure. Instead, we need to use innovation to develop new solutions as well as harness tried and tested approaches to meet people’s needs.’

MailOnline has contacted HM Treasury for comment. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk