News & Views - Savantor
You are here:

The Cash Issue

Sunday, 16 February 2020

The perennial issue of cash and the need to continue to support it as a payment mechanism has been a topic of discussion in the media during the past month.   

There have been calls for the UK Chancellor to act to save banknotes and coins, saying that without urgent new laws the cash system could collapse within a decade. A spokesperson for the Access to Cash Review has stated that it essential that the shift to digital "doesn't leave millions behind or put our economy at risk”.

In response, the Treasury has said that it wants "to ensure everyone who needs cash can access it."

Cash is important to millions of people, who still use it for paying for vital goods and services, such as utility and council bills. According to the Financial Inclusion Commission, nearly two million people in Britain don't have a bank account, meaning they need notes and coins to pay their way. Although there are many tech-savvy ‘silver surfers’, there is also a significant number of elderly people for whom the online environment is very confusing. According to the ONS, only 40% of the over-65s have used a smartphone in the past three months.

There were 11 billion cash payments in the UK in 2018, but this is forecast to fall to 3.8 billion by 2028, accounting for fewer than one in 10 (9%) of all payments. Banks are continuing to close branches in response to the migration of customers to digital channels - Lloyds Banking Group is to close 56 more branches across the UK later this year.

Interestingly it was reported this month that New York City Council has voted to ban cashless stores and restaurants, as they discriminate against the unbanked. The council voted to pass a bill requiring brick and mortar outlets in the city to accept US notes and coins or to be fined.

As cash usage is also, similar to Britain, on the wane in many areas of America with the increasing use of cards and mobile payment options such as Apple Pay, this has prompted some businesses to ban cash, which is expensive to handle, outright. However, there has been a pushback against the trend, with opponents arguing that it discriminates against the unbanked, poorer members of society who do not have access to credit cards or bank accounts.

New York is apparently following the lead of Philadelphia and San Francisco, whilst there are also moves are also underway to outlaw cashless stores in Washington and Chicago. 

Yet at the other end of the spectrum Sweden seems likely to become the world’s first cashless society, with cash no longer being accepted as a means of payment after March 2023. It is already difficult today to find an establishment in Sweden where cash is accepted; the payment norm is either card or the domestic mobile application Swish.  

Whilst some countries such as Sweden seem to be making a seamless transition to becoming cashless, it is unlikely that this model will be the solution for every country or society and that for the foreseeable future cash will need to remain a viable option.

Savantor Services

Savantor Services

Savantor services are tailored to Client needs based on our core service areas

Specialist Resourcing Payments Strategy Platform Transition Operational Efficiency
Savantor Services

Job Opportunities

Consulting and contracting roles in the payments, mobile and banking arena within the UK and across Europe

View more
Savantor Services

Savantor Views

Find out more from our Savantor brochures, MarketEye back copies and Industry opinion

Collateral Market Eye News & Views Sign Up to receive MarketEye

Client Quotes

Issuer and Acquirer Transformation - Assessment and Mobilisation

"We were in urgent need of external independent expertise to supplement our internal resources. Senior consultants had to quickly integrate with a diverse team from across the bank and actively contribute. I am pleased to say that Savantor was able to deliver on our needs as well as being good people to do business with."

Lars Bostrom, Head of Cards - Nordea - Scandinavia

Payment Specialists

"Working close with Savantor's professionals over the years in the payment arena. I appreciate the skills and knowledge these guys have and will surely engage with them when opportunities arise. The current engagement with Savantor is full to satisfaction and beyond."

Idsert Walta, Head of Banking Categories - Nordea - Scandinavia

Card Migration

"I was impressed by the speed with which the Savantor team were able to start delivering and as a team they have made a significant contribution to the success of the Programme."

Bjorn Niels, Programme Director - ABN AMRO Bank - The Netherland

New Payments Initiative

"In moving our new initiative into reality, we required specialist payments knowledge and forward thinking in the retail sector. Savantor supplied this and provided very effective guidance throughout. We enjoyed working with them."

Sophie High, Head of Innovation Delivery - Cancer Research UK

Credit Card Migration and Operational Support

"The bank has undergone significant transformation of its card business on both the issuing and acquiring sides. One business partner we have looked to for support in the areas of strategy, major project leadership, management analysis and ongoing business support is Savantor. The Savantor team has contributed to our success as we have leveraged their deep industry knowledge and broad range of operational skills."

Sean Sheehan, Service Management Director - Bank of Ireland

Acquirer Risk Assessment

"The expertise provided by Savantor has greatly helped us evaluate our risk position and to take the right steps in managing our future risks. Strong, disciplined planning and an ongoing willingness to work closely with our staff played an enormous part in making this a very successful well-delivered project which will greatly help us in achieving our business goals."

Mark Healy, Chief Risk Officer - NEOVIA Financial - UK

Acquirer Transformation

"We needed a programme manager for a complex transformation who also brought a broad understanding to help stakeholders through the change. We have been delighted with the delivery and outcomes from this engagement with Savantor."

Michael Liquornik, Executive Vice President - Neovia Financial - UK

Platform Selection & RFP Management

"OP-Pohjola Group has used Savantor in both acquiring and issuing for platform/service provider research, RFI/RFP processes and subsequent contract negotiations. Savantor's approach and commitment have always been very professional and transparent. They have been of great help for the company in providing us important insights and background information beyond vendors sales speeches."

Kai Lindstrom, Head of Acquiring - OP-Services Ltd - Finland

Clients - Request Support

Send us a support request and one of our specialists will be in contact to assist you.

Consultants – Upload your CV

Register your CV with us and gain access to a range of job opportunities through our online job search portal.