You could soon be able to use supermarket tills as ATMs - the proposed plans explained

By Helen Johnson
Friday, 16th October 2020, 11:39 am
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 11:39 am

Shoppers have swapped cash for cards during the coronavirus pandemic, with tapping a debit or credit card onto a reader deemed safer than handling notes or coins.

However, this has seen a decline in cash payments, meaning new measures are set to be introduced to protect cash access for vulnerable groups.

Shoppers to be able to use tills as ATMs

Under new proposals to protect the UK’s access to cash, members of the public will be able to get cashback from shops without buying anything - essentially using till points as ATM machines without a requirement to spend anything.

Consumers took out £3.8 billion of cashback when paying for items at a till last year, which makes it the second most popular method for withdrawing cash in the UK, following ATMs.

Currently, it's against EU rules for shops to offer cashback to those who aren't purchasing goods, but the government is now proposing to get rid of these rules when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said, "We know that cash is still really important for consumers and businesses - that’s why we promised to legislate to protect access for everyone who needs it.

"We want to harness the same creative thinking that has driven innovation in digital payments to maintain the UK’s cash system and make sure people can easily access cash in their local area."

When could these proposed plans come into place?

The government is said to be consulting on the plans to no longer have rules in place for those wanting to access cashback from tills in December of this year. The call for evidence is set to close on 25 November 2020.