New partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and Visa aims to ease access to cash across UK

New partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and Visa aims to ease access to cash across UK

LONDON, 19-Feb-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — New pilot cashback scheme, aimed at making it easier and more convenient for people to access cash in areas across UK where it might be challenging, is going to be launched in the UK by Lloyds Banking Group in partnership with Visa. The scheme, to lunch in spring 2019, is actually going to offer fee to retailers for processing cashback transactions at their stores. According to statistics from Visa UK cashback currently accounts for just around 2% of cash withdrawals in the UK.

Vim Maru, Group Director Retail, Lloyds Banking Group, is hoping that all banks and card companies will back the scheme and create a cashback system that rewards retailers and protects access to cash.

At present owners of retail stores are not offered to receive a fee when providing cashback to their customers.

It is estimated that 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 if no purchase is made) because they do not receive a fee for providing cashback.

By offering them a fee, retailers will get supported and incentivised to join the new initiative thus increasing the the number of places where people can withdraw their money.

The new scheme aims at creating more availability where access to cash is challenging and is not meant to replace ATMs or branches. Customers will still have the choice to pay with their cards and mobile devices if they want to.

The new cashback pilot scheme will primarily focus on rural or less-affluent areas in UK, which often rely on a very small number of ATMs and access to cash is traditionally difficult. Small number of selected Cardnet merchants in the target areas will be the first to join the roll out.

Lloyds Banking Group and Visa estimate the number of retailers within the targeted areas that may be eligible to join the cashback scheme at more than 50,000.

Furthermore, cashback transaction fees will be paid by Lloyds Banking Group regardless of the cardholder’s bank.

It is also believed and hoped that the new cashback initiative will bring more customers to participating stores and local businesses at a time of unprecedented challenges for British high streets.

Vim Maru, Group Director Retail, Lloyds Banking Group:

“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 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:

“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.”

While Lloyds Banking Group will continue supporting LINK’s programmes (Financial Inclusion and Protected ATMs) it is also recognisable 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.

SOURCE: Lloyds Banking Group

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