The policy and advocacy chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said that being able to pay in cash is still important for consumers.

Martin McTague made the statement after research from Which? revealed that system failures have resulted in seven million consumers being unable to use payment cards in the last year.

McTague said that cash remains ‘vital’ and emphasised the importance of avoiding moments where customers are left unable to make payments.


He said: “Action is needed on two fronts. First off, we have to improve the resilience and reach of our digital payments infrastructure in the UK – that includes country-wide access to reliable broadband. Second, we need to maintain our cash infrastructure for as long as people want and need it.

“There’s also the cost factor to consider. Processing card payments can be expensive for small firms. We need to see regulators and terminal providers collaborating to bring these fees down for the good of our economy.

“Two million consumers still rely entirely on cash for day-to-day purchases. It’s vital that no-one is left behind as we increasingly move to a digital-first shopping environment. Currently, there’s a feeling that we’re cutting too far too fast when it comes to bank branches and ATMs.

“We look forward to working with the new Treasury-led strategy group on how we can maintain a cash network that is relevant, adaptable and commercially viable.”

McTague was elected to his role in 2016 after serving as a volunteer with the FSB for fifteen years.

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