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Access To Cash - The New Normal

20th August 2020

Photograph of Access To Cash - The New Normal

Which the consumer group are running a campaign to save cash.

Coronavirus has accelerated the shift away from cash, putting greater strain on the already fragile cash system and making it even harder to access and pay with cash.

When we celebrated the government's commitment to new laws that would protect cash back in March, no one could have guessed how dramatically the cash landscape would change in just a few months.

But despite the pandemic, one thing has not changed: millions of people still rely on cash in their everyday lives - making it even more important for the government to introduce the legislation soon.

That's why we're still working hard to get the government to urgently protect cash as promised.

We'd love to know about your experiences. Have you had trouble accessing or paying with cash since lockdown started?

We discovered 16% of UK consumers have experienced difficulties either accessing or paying with cash during lockdown. 26% of people who were told they couldn't use cash were unable to make a purchase - as this was their only means of payment.

As lockdown restrictions ease, many people will continue to need support to access cash and banking services.

If anybody you know has had problems accessing or paying with cash, you can share our practical guide. It covers what banks are doing to help people to access their cash and banking services remotely, and what additional help is available to use online banking.


Which? wants the Government to urgently introduce announced legislation to protect free access to cash, so everyone is able to access the cash that they need, for as long as they need. Without this, millions of people will be at risk of financial exclusion, with no alternative way of paying for

everyday items.

Access to cash is meaningless if people cannot spend it and, worryingly, we've seen an increase in the number of shops going cashless during the crisis.

Which? wants the Government to take all

necessary steps to ensure people can continue to pay with cash during the pandemic, including providing support to businesses to accept cash through clear guidance on how to handle banknotes and coins safely.

Which? welcomes the new measures banks have introduced to support customers during the crisis, and the speed at which they've been rolled out. However, we've found that there's a lack of awareness about what’s on offer, meaning some people may be missing out.

Which? wants the Financial Conduct Authority, the central regulator for UK financial services and markets, to look into these new measures and assess their effectiveness, and to take greater efforts to ensure that people are aware of the options currently available to them.

See the guide