Liverpool News

Is Liverpool Ready To Go Cashless?

With digital payment technologies becoming increasingly sophisticated since the turn of the century, many people believe that cash will eventually become completely redundant.

Numerous industries are already well on their way to becoming cashless, despite some critics claiming the move is not universally welcomed by the general public.

The gambling sector has been at the forefront of the push towards a cashless society, particularly in leading jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom and Ireland.

In the UK, where it’s possible to deposit at online casinos with PayPal, cash transactions have become much less prevalent when people are wagering.

However, if the latest government figures are anything to go by, the seemingly inevitable shift away from cash is anything but a foregone conclusion.

A recent survey from YouGov highlighted that just three percent of the UK public never use cash and only 12% of people are in favour of becoming a cashless society.

Almost three-quarters of respondents said they would support making it a legal requirement for businesses in the UK to accept cash.

The results cement the belief that UK citizens still want to use cash – a point hammered home by a couple of recent noteworthy developments in Liverpool.

Asda’s recent decision to implement a cashless payment system at 82 of its UK stores, including petrol stations, came in for widespread criticism on social media.

The controversial move is part of the supermarket’s efforts to ‘streamline operations and enhance customer convenience’. However, consumers are unconvinced.

Concerns about the ‘ringfenced cash’ system at petrol pumps, where a pre-authorised amount of £99 is held before the final charge is applied, have been rife.

Some motorists have reported delays in accessing their money after fuelling their vehicle, while others have complained they may not have that amount freely available.

That point is particularly pertinent in Liverpool, where many people are struggling to make ends meet during difficult economic times.

With several Asda stores in the Liverpool region set to become cashless, people may well decide to head elsewhere for their weekly shopping and fuel.

Barclays also felt the wrath of the UK public after confirming it will close at least 96 bank branches during 2024 and 2025. This follows the closure of 177 branches last year.

Among the newly-announced closures is the Allerton Road branch in Mossley Hill, which leave Liverpool with just one Barclays branch on Lord Street offering a full range of in-person services.

Although there are Barclays Local outlets located in Bootle and West Derby, residents in the south of the city will be forced to travel a significant to access basic bank services. 

Barclays defended the move by saying that visits to branches ‘continue to fall’ and the business must ‘adapt to provide the best service for all our customers’.

However, customers who regularly use the Allerton Road branch say it is rarely quiet. Despite this, Barclays will plough head with their plans to close it.

The local reaction to the moves by Asda and Barclays to push towards a cashless society suggests Liverpool is nowhere near ready to embrace the concept.

The Payment Choice Alliance has become a leading voice for consumers by campaigning strongly against the shift towards a cashless society.

Campaign director Martin Quinn recently acknowledged that it is getting more difficult to spend cash, but urged people to take matters into their own hands.

He suggests that people should demand to use cash if that is their choice and to vote with their feet by boycotting businesses who refuse cash payments.

Quinn says that cash gives people the freedom to spend their money how they choose and prevents financial institutions from tracking your transactions.

Data privacy issues are at the heart of the Payment Choice Alliance’s stance – a sentiment that is clearly mirrored by the people in Liverpool and elsewhere in the UK.

Another common theme running through the criticism of the shift towards a cashless society is the forced removal of personal choice from the equation.

Millions of people in the UK are happy to use digital payment methods to fund purchases, but also want to retain the option to use cash.

Some businesses have responded to this by reversing their decision to implement card or digital payment-only policies. Many more may follow suit.

However, big-hitters such as Asda, Barclays and many others are ignoring what the majority of UK citizens want and forging ahead with their push to remove cash from society.

Asda’s decision is unsurprising, given that their owners have been questioned by members of parliament over their shady business practices.

For the people of Liverpool, hitting organisations of this nature where it hurts by switching to their competitors is the only chance they have of forcing them to rethink their cashless policy.


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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