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Access to cash and community vulnerability in the UK: National Access to Cash mapping project receives research grant

7 July 2020

Dr Daniel Tischer of the School of Management has been awarded a research funding grant of £40,000 for a project exploring access to cash in the UK.

This interdisciplinary research is funded by LINK in collaboration with UK Finance and the Post Office, and will be undertaken with the support of Jamie Evans and Sara Davies of the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol.

The project builds on their previous work on mapping access to cash, which found that over two-thirds of the ATMs which switched from free to fee-charging in Bristol between October 2018 and March 2019 were within particularly deprived areas. This contributes to a ‘Poverty Premium’, where low income households are made to pay more to access basic goods and services. 

The research has gained industry backing and brings together a range of stakeholders involved in the provision of cash in the UK, to:

  1. Create an industry-wide approach toward mapping and managing access to cash, formed on an agreed definition of what ‘reasonable’ access to cash looks like,
  2. Assess the current state of access to cash in the UK against this definition, and,
  3. Develop a methodology to track and trace changes to access to cash on a regular basis in future,

Earlier research findings demonstrate that access to cash will be key in building an inclusive economy, with 47 percent of the population having stated they would find a cashless society problematic, while 17 percent claimed they would be unsure how to cope or unable to cope at all.

Dr Daniel Tischer said, “Above all, we need to make sure that cash is still available to those who rely on it. Many of us might be happy to pay contactless or with cards, but equally many of us can't do this as they lack access, may be unfamiliar with the technology or live in remote locations.”

The group will be working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority and Payment Systems Regulator to agree data standards and to ensure the project has maximum impact on policy and legislation.



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