Cash crisis

There is more cash in circulation than in previous years, but there is a likelihood of less cash machines on the high street due to a charging issue between banks and the network operators. So is cash in crisis or just short of change?

The “cash is king” adage is a bit of a strange one really. The Royals never carry cash, but have plenty of it. There are around two million people in the country that can only use cash, and likely have very little of it.

There is a sense of reality that cash will remain a stable currency force for some time – at least a couple of generations.

The Link network’s costs policy is a serious problem. Link’s review will look at the impact of cashless technologies over the next five years, and will aim to predict the future infrastructure that will be necessary to support consumers’ needs. In the meantime the company is being partially blamed by many for the recent ATM closures due to its decision to reduce the interchange rate banks have to pay ATM operators upon withdrawal.

Less ATMs on the high street, which is a clear and present danger, will certainly lead to less supply of cash. Let’s face it, even when you find an ATM, there is not much to spend your cash on anyway given the crisis of the UK’s half empty high streets.

Then there is the local councils threatening to charge business rates for hole in the wall cash machines. We also mustn’t forget the aggressive march of the contactless debit card – a momentum that will simply accelerate.

Cash is facing tough times, it is not going out of circulation, but it has an uphill battle. So, it doesn’t help when its own proponents like Link (The biggest cash point suppliers) undermine its very existence. And in doing so, this undermines every industry and family that depends on cash including having an effect on the amusements industry – especially in smaller seaside resorts – where may FEC operators are finding themselves offering one of the last few ATM’s in town.

This trend will only gain momentum as both government and big business continue to wage war on cash, resulting in higher costs for ATM operation, and FECs being used as the town bank.

From Comrie’s point of view, potential customers have less physical cash in their pockets to put in to machines and with our hands tied on not being able legally to have our machines take card payments to play, this puts us in a very tricky situation going forward. We see the younger generation carrying less and less cash, if not none at all as they have been brought up with card and contactless payments, so our industry is chopping at the bit to move with the times.  No doubt the long term future will be a cashless society, Sweden is already 99 percent cashless with only 1 percent of the county paying in cash!

If you are looking to move with the times and have the latest digital fruit machines for your pub or social club on hire please call Comrie. Big changes are ahead…..


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