Is Britain ready to go cashless? - RSA

Is Britain ready to go cashless?

Research & Impact Event

 -  | BST British Summer Time


  • Economics and Finance
  • Accessibility & inclusion
  • Digital
  • Technology

As digital payments and banking boom, is Britain ready to go cashless? Join our webinar to discuss the future of cash.

The rise of digital banking over the past decade has fuelled a lifestyle revolution. The emergence of chip and pin, contactless cards, digital wallets, online banking and mobile apps have made life more convenient for many.

However, this digital transformation has also driven major changes to our cash infrastructure. Bank branches have closed at an electric pace, free-to-use ATMs have declined, accessing and depositing cash have become more challenging for both individuals and small businesses.

In the decade from 2008-2018, the proportion of cash payments halved. Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was clear cash was no longer king. The pandemic has now turbocharged the ‘dash from cash’ with cash withdrawals down by around 40% since March 2020. On the surface, it may seem like the end of the road for cash.

But is that the case? Are some people more prepared for a digital economy than others? How will the cost of living crisis impact cash use? Do different regions face different challenges when it comes to cash?

The RSA’s recent study, The cash census, has surveyed over 3,000 people and ran a series of focus groups and interviews to better understand differing attitudes to cash.

Join us for this online webinar, where we will present the findings from this research. We will also hear directly from people across the five segments on their attitudes to cash and digital payments, along with an expert panel debate, interactive poll, and Q&A.

The event will be chaired by Dr Al Mathers – Director of Research at the RSA.

Speakers will include:

Natalie Ceeney CBE - Natalie led the independent Access to Cash Review which was published in 2019, led the Cash Pilots programme in 2021, and is Chair of the Cash Action Group, which has agreed a landmark voluntary agreement between all major banks to ensure that no community is left without suitable cash access. 

Mark Hall - Mark is lead author of The cash census report, RSA

Graham Mott - Graham is Director of Strategy at LINK. This covers initiatives like the future of cash, and interchange, as well as external relations, public affairs, fraud management, physical ATM crime and liaison with LINK’s Members. During the coronavirus pandemic, a large part of Graham’s role has been the analysis of consumers' cash and ATM use, helping LINK develop the best responses to a fast-moving crisis. 

Dr Sharon Wagg - Sharon is a Research Associate at Lancaster University Management School, at the University of Lancaster. She currently works on the Mobile Access North Yorkshire (MANY) project and a British Academy digital poverty project. Her PhD explored digital inclusion initiative provision in UK rural communities and the entanglement of organisations, intermediaries, individuals and technology.

We have also invited representatives working on financial inclusion and innovation in the financial services industry to attend and join the panel. Other speakers TBC.

Please do join us for this debate – is Britain ready to go cashless?