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MPs Warn that Moving to a Cashless Society Will Hit Elderly and Poor

MPs voiced the need to preserve ATMs and bank branches to enable the vulnerable community to have access to their cash.

The Commons Treasury select committee said in a report published on Monday that without government intervention, Britain risks “inadvertently becoming a cashless society”.

The shift towards online banking and contactless payments has resulted in the UK closing more than half its bank branches during the past 30 years. This is a growing concern for those who don’t use online banking facilities, thus rely on the physical banking network.

David Orme, SVP at IDEX Biometrics, comments to TFT on how fingerprint authentication technology will make it easier for these vulnerable groups to go cashless.

“Recent MP warnings that moving to a cashless society will hit elderly and poor services as a stark reminder that we cannot take an ‘all or nothing’ approach to becoming a completely cashless society. To ease the move towards cashless, more needs to be done to make sure such benefits are accessible to all.

Disadvantaged groups are more likely to rely on cash and some, such as those who do not have a bank account, have little choice but to use cash for everything. In 2017, people in the UK made more than 13 billion cash payments. The choice seems clear: either ensure the continued availability of cash or make it easy for all members of society to go cashless.

The introduction of fingerprint biometric payment cards is just one innovation that will enable consumers to securely embrace cashless payments. This unique and ultimately secure payment solution is virtually impossible to replicate and could actually help to bridge the gap to financial inclusion as transactions will no longer be focused on what we know or can remember (PINs), but who we are. This will, therefore, remove the potential barriers that face those living with dementia or literacy challenges and put consumers at the forefront of payment innovation.”


  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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