Lloyds looks to unlock access to cash

Lloyds looks to unlock access to cash

In the wake of fierce criticism from politicians and consumer groups over the disappearance of ATMs and bank branches from the high street, Lloyds Banking Group is to run a pilot scheme which will offer retailers a fee for processing cashback transactions over the counter.

Currently business owners do not receive a fee when providing cashback to their customers. Lloyds says the reward scheme will offer more support to retailers and increase the number of places where people can withdraw their money.

Last week, the UK's Treasury Committee called for urgent action to prevent the collapse of access to cash. The Committee's intervention followed a report by consumer group Which? calling for the appointment of a new regulatory body to guarantee continued provision of cash to disenfranchised communities.

Lloyds says the cashback incentive will target areas of the UK where access to cash has been identified as being more difficult, such as rural or less-affluent areas which often rely on a very small number of ATMs.

Vim Maru, group director retail, Lloyds Banking Group says: “Our new cashback pilot, in partnership with Visa, aims to increase the number of places where people can withdraw their money, particularly in those areas which are currently under-served by free-to-use ATMs where a customer’s access to cash may be more vulnerable."

It is estimated that there are more than 50,000 merchants in the target areas who may be eligible to participate in the cashback scheme. Initially customers will still be required to make a purchase in line with current cashback rules. The intention is that retailers will soon be able to offer cashback without the need for a purchase.

"The unlocked potential of cashback is obvious, as there are literally tens of thousands of local shops up and down our high streets that already have all the infrastructure in place to offer this service," says Maru. "We need to make it more viable for them to offer cashback to all customers, whether making a purchase or not.
Editorial | what does this mean?
This content has been selected, created and edited by the Finextra editorial team based upon its relevance and interest to our community.

Comments: (2)

Duane Tough
Duane Tough - PBATM - ny 19 February, 2019, 13:21Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Very common in Canada, well used and contributes to cash access in a good way!

 

Bill Trueman
Bill Trueman - Riskskill.com - London 20 February, 2019, 10:34Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It is of note that HM Treasury launched its consultation only 11 months ago for ideas on how to reduce cash further - reporting that it was down to 15% commerce in 2015. 

It is strtnge that the HMG wants to BOTH remove cash and make us more cashless and seeks support for initiatives to do this AT THE SAME TIME as seeking to provide greater access to cash.

Or is this a case of left-hand needing to talk to right-hand. Or just a need for a single strategy?