News & Views - Savantor

Concerns about the reduction in cash usage

Saturday, 16 February 2019

In its recent report ‘Global Payments Cards Data and Forecasts to 2023’, RBR forecasts that global card expenditure will grow at an average of 10% per year between 2017 and 2023, although the average value of a payment will fall by 7.45% over the same period. This will be primarily as a result of the growth in use of contactless cards at the expense of cash in smaller retailers for goods such as drinks and snacks. 

On the face of it, therefore, this is another step towards the demise of cash. On a global basis, consumers are becoming more comfortable with using their cards for inexpensive purchases, particularly as contactless cards become more commonplace, and the average ticket value will continue to decrease.

Whilst a reduced usage in cash might also be considered to reduce the need to be able to access it, in the UK there are serious concerns that a decrease in the number of bank branches and ATM’s is leaving many people struggling to pay in shops. 

Both the Consumer group Which? and the Federation of Small Businesses say that consumers’ access to cash as an alternative to digital payments should be protected by a dedicated regulator, with Which? calling on the government to appoint one.

Recently Link has announced extra subsidies and said that, from April, it was raising the fee it paid cash machine operators to keep remote free-to-use machines available.

As well as being concerned at the rate of cash machine and bank branch closures leaving people struggling to access the cash they rely on, Which? also believes cash to be a necessary contingency to digital payments and the fallibility of the systems supporting them.

A recent report by an ex-financial ombudsman suggests the UK is risking "sleepwalking" into becoming a cashless society with many being disadvantaged as a result, as banknotes and coins are a necessity for eight million people.

Additionally the Federation of Small Businesses has warned that ATM and bank closures will have a potential impact on the High Street, which is already struggling from, amongst other factors, the effects of online shopping.

UK Finance has said that a mix of different ways to pay is vital for consumers. Their research shows that while cash usage is declining, it will still be the second most common payment method in 10 years' time.

Whilst the utopian solution may be seen by many to be a cashless society, in the UK at least it would seem that there are many other ‘real life’ factors which need to be taken account of and which necessitate the use of cash to continue to be supported in the short term. In March 2018 the Government issued a call for evidence on the role of cash and digital payments in the new economy; the consultation period finished in June and the feedback to the consultation is still awaited. It will be interesting to see both the results and analysis of the feedback and the proposed strategy going forward.

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

Complex Multi-Country Migration

"This complex migration, undertaken simultaneously in Spain and Portugal, has been a complete success. Savantor has provided us with excellent support for over 3 years, both in the original business transformation programme and now this double migration. We value their open and honest approach to business, and of course the expertise that they bring."

Ricardo Gomez, Director, Operations & Technology - WiZink Bank – Spain & Portugal

Complex Cards Business Transformation

"This was a major business transformation that required us to build an excellent team made up of internal bank specialists, supported by external card business, technical and operations expertise. Savantor provided specialists from the local market and with international experience to fill a variety of important roles. The Savantor resourcing team are professional, reliable and good people to work with."

Ricardo Gomez, Director - Operations & Technology - WiZink Bank - Spain

Acquirer Specialist Support

"OP-Pohjola Group has used Savantors help in numerous different specialist projects differing from risk assessment to management tool creation to transaction analysis. We have been very satisfied by the quality of the service provided by Savantor's experts."

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

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

EMV Migration Planning

"It was a strategic imperative for the bank to be EMV compliant for our payment cards and the experience that Savantor brought to the company has proved to be invaluable."

Eddie Sweeney, Chief Technology Officer - AIB Bank - Ireland

Credit Risk Review for New Product Launch

"We needed expert help at short notice and Savantor were very impressive in their response and knowledge. The results were very clear and useful, enabling us to quickly make good progress on the next steps."

Sami Karhunen, Head of Business Intelligence and SME Sales - Point Transaction Systems Oy - Finland

Expert Witness

"After searching extensively for the required industry expert in a complex litigation, Savantor was identified to have the necessary industry knowledge and expertise on a range of complex issues. Savantor provided clear advice and was able to quickly hone in on the key issues, but most importantly, generating pragmatic winnable answers."

Gavin Ingram, General Counsel & VP Strategic Planning - Global Blue - Asia Pacific

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

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.