Visa takes 'access to cash' programme industry-wide

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Company: Visa, Inc

The introduction of the UK-wide programme follows a year-long trial with Lloyds Bank, which offered rewards to retailers in return for providing cashback services.

The initiative comes in the wake of a backlash over the creation of 'cash deserts' in locations where bank branches have been closed and ATMs shut down.

Vim Maru, group director, retail bank, Lloyds Banking Group, says: “Through the cashback pilot we’ve been running in partnership with Visa since early last year, we’ve improved the availability of cash in local communities, particularly in areas under-served by free-to-use ATMs and where consumers’ access to cash may be restricted.

“We’re delighted that Visa is now encouraging all of its bank partners to get behind the scheme and create a cashback system that both rewards retailers and protects access to cash.”

Visa is also looking at widening the availability of cashback services to consumers without the prerequisite of an in-store purchase.

Jeni Mundy, Visa MD, UK & Ireland, says: We want to help increase the number of options that people have to gain access to cash, helping to extend financial inclusion by enabling customers to choose how they pay - be that by cash, cards, mobile devices or other means. We also hope our scheme will encourage people in the target areas to visit their local shops at a challenging time for retailers.”

Visa is following the footsteps of Mastercard, which has already announced plans to roll out a service which will offer UK retailers a fee for processing cashback transactions over the counter,

Under the programme, local shops and businesses will from April 2020 earn a fee of 12 pence every time they dispense cash to a shopper paying with a Mastercard debit card.

Mastercard says all of its debit card issuing partners will take part in the scheme, including: Clydesdale Bank, Metro Bank, Monzo, N26, Starling Bank, Virgin Money, Yorkshire Bank and starting later this year Santander.

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