The Community Access to Cash Pilot (CACP) initiative has announced eight locations across the UK that will be participating in trials to help address challenges of improving cash access and acceptance.
Following applications from across the UK, the successful communities will be working with the banking industry to identify sustainable solutions to keeping cash viable for individuals and businesses.
This will include supporting local businesses to accept and bank cash, ensuring that individuals can access cash, working with local councils to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place, education and support on digital inclusion, and working with new and existing financial services providers to create solutions to meet needs.
The successful communities are:
• Ampthill (Bedfordwshire)
• Burslem (Staffordshire)
• Botton Village (North Yorkshire)
• Cambuslang (South Lanarkshire, Scotland)
• Denny (Falkirk, Scotland)
• Hay-on-Wye (Powys, Wales)
• Lulworth (Dorset)
• Rochford (Essex)
The sites were chosen based on the location, the issues the communities faced, the strength of their submission and commitment to the pilot. A small number of further sites will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Over the coming months CACP will engage with the leaders of these communities to understand the needs and challenges that local consumers and retailers face around cash. It will then seek tp provide solutions with the support of the banks and consumer bodies, and to ensure that everyone in the local community knows how to access them.
This experience will then enable CACP to recommend solutions which can be adopted on a national basis.
CACP chair Natalie Ceeney commented: “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.
“Our aim is both to support communities right now, and also to learn lessons for sustainable solutions which can be used more widely across the UK, particularly as the government considers legislation to support the cash infrastructure”.
John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury and city minister, said: “Digital payments have brought huge benefits, but we know that cash remains important to many people’s lives. So I welcome today’s announcement of the locations of the pilots, which will help inform the most effective ways of protecting access to cash at the local level, at a time when our communities mean more to us than ever. I look forward to seeing the progress made by the pilots, as the government develops legislation to protect access to cash, and would like to thank Natalie Ceeney for her work on this important issue.”