Is the Future a Cashless Market?

Markets have always been places where cash payments have been an important feature of the  business activity. Efforts to persuade traders to use cashless arrangements have met with limited success with probably only between 30/40% of traders offering card facilities.

However the challenges emerging from the COVID-19 crisis prompt a further review of this important issue. Recent research suggests that over the last three months banks and cash machines have experienced only about half the normal cash withdrawals. This suggests a growing public apprehension about using cash which is matched by an increasing number of shops currently indicating card only or a preference for card purchases.

It is a fact that cash can be refused. In such a situation the prospective purchaser has no legal rights other than to seek to buy the particular item from another retailer.

Can we make it condition of our markets that traders only take card transactions?  Given that cash is still such an important feature of many markets it is not suggested that such a change is undertaken overnight but it is something that NABMA would recommend that its members consider for the future. Urgent active encouragement should be given to traders to embrace cashless transactions.

There are good reasons why traders should offer card facilities and if you want to consider inserting a condition in market regulations that regular traders should offer card facilities you will require a reasoned argument, prior consultation with traders and the need to consider what sort of impact this will have on your market. If you take account of these issues and act in a reasonable and responsible way then it is considered that incorporating such a condition is likely to be sustainable.

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