A new change card and app designed to replace coins by start-up Shrap has started real life trials - with the first two pilots now underway in Rochford in Essex and Denny in Scotland as part of the UK's Community Access to Cash Pilots.
With a significant reduction in cash use - particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic - the cost of maintaining the infrastructure to sort, transport and distribute cash has become unsustainable.
Shrap aims to make cash more efficient and convenient by removing the need for coins - including low domination coins - many of which are only used once.
When using cash in a shop, the business can give change onto a Shrap card. Customers can store their change on the card - or Shrap’s mobile app - and make small payments to shops and friends, anonymously and for free. Businesses maintain a ‘float’ on the platform, with change issued through the app or EPoS integration.
Shrap is regulated by the FCA and makes money by earning interest on the cash it holds.
“One of the biggest risks to cash is its continued acceptance by businesses, and the biggest driver of cash acceptance is the cost and hassle of handling it” says Natalie Ceeney CBE, Chair of the Community Access to Cash Pilots. “We are excited to be working with Shrap across several communities, trialling an innovative solution that enables businesses to continue accepting cash but without the expense and hassle of handling coins. Removing the need for coins in a cash transaction is another step to help us keep cash sustainable.”