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Covid-19 Crisis Update

We are closely monitoring government advice on Covid-19. The Cash Pilot Programme will continue, but we will work with the pilot communities to determine how best to do the work in the context of government rules on shop openings and social distancing.

Applications to become a pilot community have now closed. We are reviewing the applications received and will notify all applicants of whether or not they have been selected to be a pilot community by the end of June.

The banking landscape of the UK has changed markedly over recent years. More and more people are using digital payments, and the use of cash has declined from 6 in every 10 payments, to just under 3 in 10 over the last decade. Changes in the way people choose to do their banking have led to a rise in digital banking, and a reduction in the number of bank branches and ATMs. However, we know that millions of people and large numbers of communities depend heavily on cash. This initiative aims to ensure that we keep cash access for individuals, and help retailers accept and bank cash.

We want to find sustainable solutions for communities which succeed for local residents and businesses. The Community Access to Cash Pilots initiative aims to select a small number of UK communities to work with, to develop and support solutions for them. The initiative is supported by the banking and finance industry which will provide resources in the form of financing and local staff who understand what is possible, linked to a central team who have the influence to make things happen.

Pilot communities will be selected by an independent Board, chaired by Natalie Ceeney CBE, who led the Access to Cash Review, and supported by a mix of industry, small business and customer representatives.

Why are we doing this? We want to use the lessons from these pilots to inform what needs to happen nationally. We are keen to test scalable solutions so that we can help keep cash sustainable across the whole of the UK.

To become a pilot community, tell us about your community, its needs and the leadership you can provide to work with us. Creating solutions must be a joint effort so we will need a time commitment from you. The more people you have enlisted to work with you, the more likely the pilot will be a success. If you have local business groups who are willing to engage and the support of your local councillors or MP, even better. We will provide resources to support pilot communities and funding where it’s required. We aim to work in two stages; first to identify community needs and possible solutions, and then to put those solutions into practice.

Want to know more? Please click here to find out how to apply.