UK: Cash refusal threatens people’s ability to pay for food and medicine

Information gathered from 2,500 people shows that the inability to pay in cash has had a significant effect upon people's lives during the pandemic. Many businesses have begun only accepting card payments, given the perception that COVID-19 may be transmitted by handling cash.

UK: Cash refusal threatens people’s ability to pay for food and medicine (Which?, link, emphasis added):

"Troublingly, the most common outcome when respondents said they didn’t have an alternative payment method was that they weren’t able to buy the product at all – with this happening in 32% of cases. This figure was highest for customers buying DIY and gardening products (41%) followed by food and groceries (38%) . The second most common course of action (25%) was to go to another shop or supplier to get the product. Respondents buying medical goods or prescriptions were twice as likely to say they went to another shop (50%) if they couldn’t pay in cash – presumably to ensure they got hold of the much-needed medicines or supplies.


However, 17% of respondents who didn’t have an alternative to cash to pay for these important medical items didn’t end up getting the product at all. While this is relatively low, it’s still a concern that almost two in 10 people we heard from in this situation were left empty-handed.


Those who may not have a bank account or who prefer to pay in cash, risk exclusion from society during the pandemic if they can’t shop or visit their local café."

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