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UK Post Office Access To Cash - Setting Back Service Standards By Half A Century?

More stories this week in Britain about the potential for Post Offices to replace ATMs as far as the supply of cash to the public is concerned.

There is a heavy irony in Post Offices now being touted as substitutes for ATMs in the UK.

Way back in 1967,  the Scot John Shepherd-Barron invented the ATM because he was frustrated that bank branches were often closed when he wanted cash.

In short, he invented ATMs to provide out-of-hours cash access.

Today, more than 50 years on, we are being told that the 7000 plus Post Offices in the UK without ATMs - and with limited opening hours - can provide communities around the country with adequate access to cash.

It is patently not realistic.

As just one example of why this is so, consider that all Post Offices close on Sunday’s ( some are also only open for half a day on Saturdays). So at weekends, the time when most people are enjoying leisure and want to spend cash, Post Offices are really not available to meet their cash needs.

Why are the British public now being asked to accept service standards which were considered inadequate 50 years ago?

Could it be that there are powerful vested interests who profit from artificially limiting access to cash - and have the muscle to ensure that ATMs disappear from communities around the UK?

Interestingly, the other major innovation in the UK in 1967 was the Introduction of colour television services.

Can you imagine anyone trying to convince the British public today, in 2019, that television services would be improved by reverting to the monochrome transmissions of 50 years ago?

Such a proposal would be met with total and utter derision.

YET THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE BEING ASKED TO ACCEPT IN RELATION TO ACCESS TO CASH.

 

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Ron Delnevo

Ron Delnevo

Chairman

Cash & Card World

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Leatherhead

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Financial Inclusion

The financial services industry has much to contribute to the UN and World Bank goal of full financial inclusion by 2020. This group will focus on industry contributions, ideas, barriers and enablers.


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