A ‘coinless’ solution is being trialled across several communities in the UK as part of the Community Access to Cash Pilots.
British start-up Shrap aims to make cash more efficient and safe by removing the need for coins, which are costly to process and often considered unhygienic.
Shrap enables businesses to accept cash payments but issue change to customers through an app or physical ‘Change Card’. Change collected through the service can be stored and spent anonymously and for free.
Following a successful trial in Bournemouth, Shrap was chosen for the national Access to Cash initiative as one of a select group of solution providers tackling the various challenges facing cash.
The independent Access to Cash Review in 2019 found that a large proportion of people continue to rely on cash, with vulnerable members of society particularly dependent on it. For businesses, however, the rising costs of handling cash and concerns around its hygiene have led many to seek alternatives.
“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” said 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.”
The start-up has seen significant demand for the service both in the UK and internationally, and plans to roll out nationwide in 2021.
“We respect that some will miss coins, but are realistic about the fact that cash is under greater threat than ever before - and that it must evolve to compete with digital payment methods”, said Shrap CEO and co-founder, Chris Forero-Slee.
“We believe that people have the right to choose how they pay one another, without fees and privacy concerns. And we strongly support the future of cash, which must be cost-effective to be sustainable.
Our digital alternative to coins delivers significant efficiency gains while maintaining what is good about coins: free to use, accessible to all, and they don’t require your personal data. Crucially, Shrap removes inefficiencies and safety concerns that threaten to undermine cash as a whole.”