How cash must be kept affordable for retailers

RETAILERS must be fairly compensated for providing cash services to their customers - otherwise there could be a lack of places where shoppers can use banknotes and coins, industry and consumer bodies have said.

Shops should not be experiencing higher costs for providing vital services to communities such as ATMs and cashback, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and other bodies argued.

The BRC said retailers such as the Post Office have increasingly been called upon to stand in for banks, as ATMs and bank branches have disappeared.

But it said shops are finding it increasingly difficult to secure basic cash services, such as store collections, while the cost of services levied by banks and other providers has increased.

The BRC argued forcing retailers to hold large amounts of cash also increases the risk of crime, raising insurance costs and putting pressure on consumer prices.

Andrew Cregan, payments policy adviser at the BRC, said: "With cash services increasingly difficult to obtain and the cost of these services rising, the BRC is calling for fair compensation for retailers providing financial services to their customers which will in turn protect access to cash for many vulnerable people."

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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