Background to the Community Access to Cash Pilots
The Community Access to Cash Pilots is an independent initiative supported by the major banks, consumer groups, and groups representing small businesses. We are supporting 9 communities across the UK to trial and test scalable solutions to help keep cash sustainable. The results of the pilot will be used to inform regulators and industry alike so that cash can remain a viable mode of payment for consumers across the UK, and so that small businesses are able to continue to accept and bank cash.
Pilot communities were selected by an independent board, chaired by Natalie Ceeney CBE, who led the Access to Cash Review, and supported by representatives from of industry, small business and customer groups. Applications were assessed against two main criteria; the strength of the local leadership willing to lead the work, and the need for innovation in cash access in their community. Twenty-three communities applied for the scheme, of which nine were selected to be pilots across a range of communities across the UK.
The pilots are trialling a wide range of ideas in different locations, including new ‘Bank Hubs’, which will provide basic banking services including counter services run by the Post Office, and dedicated rooms where customers can see community bankers from their own bank. Other ideas being piloted include cashback from local shops, automated deposit taking machines for small business to deposit their takings, digital services to make it easier for people to get cash and manage small change, and new ATMs. For full details of the services on offer to individuals and to businesses.
Covid-19 has challenged the development of the pilots, but has also given us more time to plan with the local communities. The pilots started delivering their various services from mid December 2020, with the aim of having all pilot services up and running by April 2021. The pilots will run until the end of September 2021