Retailers on the Frontline: Meet Raj
The next retailer we'd like you to meet as part of our Retailers on the Frontline series is Raj. He runs Bob's Convenience Store in Gravesend Kent.
The number of councils in England that describe themselves as ‘cashless’ is rising. This means that they no longer accept notes and coins when it comes to paying for services such as waste collection, parking tickets and fines. In some areas, bus routes are no longer accessible to those who want to pay by cash and bus companies, such as First Group, offer cheaper fares to those who opt to buy their tickets online. Go Ahead, the UK’s leading public transport company, has moved to contactless, smartcards and mobile tickets in 2019.
Many people question if our society is ready for a fully cashless transport system. However, it is easy to understand what the benefits of a cashless public transport system would be.
A cashless payment system on all public transport would result in faster transaction times. Queues to board the bus would move must quicker as there would be no need to fumble around for change. This would increase the efficiency of the transport system across the UK.
There are clearly many benefits to a cashless transport system, so what is stopping it from being the norm? The issue is that in the UK, not everybody is set up for digital payments. The fear is that if transport systems go cashless, millions of people could be socially excluded from accessing services. Research conducted by Access to Cash revealed that
‘cash dependence is disproportionately linked to poverty, age, disability and vulnerability.’ A cashless society would leave over 8 million adults struggling to cope.
So what about those areas of the country that have already adopted a cashless system on some of their transport links?
For vulnerable people in those communities, many of them rely on services such as ours. Convenience stores with a Payzone terminal give customers the option to top-up their travel cards as well as pre-purchase and collect their train, tram and bus tickets. Other bill payment services aside from ticketing and transport include utilities, mobile phone top-ups and online gaming.
Access to Cash reported the following findings:
So for retailers, Payzone will continue to be a popular service with their customers.