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Lloyds pilot scheme to boost the number of retailers offering cashback

19th February 2019 Print

Lloyds Banking Group in partnership with Visa has announced a new pilot scheme designed to boost access to cash, which will see local retailers paid to offer cashback to customers in their stores.

Currently business owners do not receive a fee when providing cashback to their customers. The new fee will offer more support to retailers and increase the number of places where people can withdraw their money.

This is not a substitute for ATMs or branches. The scheme is aimed at creating more availability where access to cash is challenging and customers will still have the choice to pay with their cards and mobile devices as they do today.

The cashback incentive will target areas of the UK where access to cash has been identified as being more difficult, such as rural or less-affluent areas which often rely on a very small number of ATMs.

It’s hoped that the initiative will also give customers more reasons to visit local shops at a time of unprecedented challenges for British high streets.

Protecting access to cash

Despite the use of coins and notes declining significantly in recent years, millions of people across the country continue to rely on cash. This is especially true for certain groups in society such as the elderly.

For the vast majority of the population, cash remains easily accessible via 50,000+ free-to-use ATMs, 7,000+ bank branches and 11,500+ Post Offices. However, for those looking to access cash in more remote or isolated locations, the options available to withdraw money are often less convenient.

Meanwhile there are tens of thousands of local high street shops which have the infrastructure in place to offer a cashback service but may not see it as a viable option – especially without a purchase – as they do not receive a fee for providing cashback. 

Vim Maru, Group Director Retail, Lloyds Banking Group said: “Our new cashback pilot, in partnership with Visa, aims to increase the number of places where people can withdraw their money, particularly in those areas which are currently under-served by free-to-use ATMs where a customer’s access to cash may be more vulnerable.

“The unlocked potential of cashback is obvious, as there are literally tens of thousands of local shops up and down our high streets that already have all the infrastructure in place to offer this service. We need to make it more viable for them to offer cashback to all customers, whether making a purchase or not.

“We’re excited to be launching our cashback incentive pilot this spring, and we hope that all banks and card companies will back the scheme and work alongside us and Visa to create a cashback system that rewards retailers and protects access to cash.”

Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa said: “Although digital payments continue to grow in popularity across the UK, we know that many people still rely on cash to manage their day-to-day expenditure. This is why we’re extremely pleased to partner with Lloyds Banking Group to increase access to cash.

“This is another important measure to ensure that nobody is excluded from the financial system and underlines our commitment to working with our partners to give people a choice in how they pay – be that with cash, cards, mobile devices or other means.”

Lloyds Banking Group remains an active supporter of LINK’s programme for Protected ATMs, as well as their longstanding Financial Inclusion programme. However it also recognises the need for new and innovative solutions to ensure that access to cash is provided for consumers as and when they want to secure it.