This is how many cash machines are left in Sheffield as country ‘sleepwalks into a cashless society’

Sheffield has lost more than 50 of its cash machines in less than two years – including dozens that are free to use – figures have shown.

Friday, 10th May 2019, 3:56 pm
Updated Friday, 24th May 2019, 4:33 pm

There were some 507 free cash machines in Sheffield at the end of 2017, according to data from the cash machine network Link.

But the latest figures show this had fallen to 474 by February 2019- a reduction of seven per cent.

Overall, there are were around 574 cash machines in Sheffield in February, including those that charge a fee for withdrawals, down from 631 in 2017.

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Some Sheffield supermarket self checkouts only accept card payments, and traders including those at food hall Cutlery Works in Kelham Island only accept payments via card or an app, as ‘cashless’ businesses become more common.

An independent review into the accessibility of cash in the UK warned in March that millions of people could be left behind if the country ‘sleepwalks into a cashless society’.

The report found around 8 million adults were still reliant on cash and would struggle to cope in an entirely digital economy. These included people in rural communities, those on a low income who may struggle to budget without cash, and older people or people with disabilities who rely on cash for their independence.

Many people in Sheffield gave there view on the idea of a cashless society.

Joseph Roberto

James Bacon, aged 21 said: "I use cards much more than cash as it is just more convenient for me. It's a lot less effort to swipe something on your card and it speeds things up like shopping.

“It wouldn't really bother me too much if we didn't use cash as its rare I do so anyway. I feel that it won’t be too long before everything is done on cards anyway."

Joseph Roberto, also aged 21 said: "Personally, I much prefer using cash to card. I can see the benefits to using a card but I feel it is very easy with a card to lose control of what you are spending. Particularly as a student on a budget with rent and food to pay for, I feel it is much better for me to use cash. If there is a system where only cards can be used I think they would have to make apps on your phone to help you budget and things like that.

"My granddad would hate the idea of using a card all the time. He doesn't trust banks at all and he carries cash around for everything. He would be in trouble if everything switched to card."

James Bacon

Barbara Elliot, aged 64 said:" I am very reliant on cash and I don't really use my card that often. I think it is safer that way, I really don't like the idea of contactless as it seems very easy for someone to steal your card and start buying things for themselves. I personally feel I would be much safer with cash.”

There were 507 free cash machines in Sheffield at the end of 2017 according to data from the cash machine network Link. This figure decreased to 474 in February 2019 this is a reduction of seven percent.

Natalie Ceeney, chair of the Access to Cash Review, said: "There are worrying signs that our cash system is falling apart. ATM and bank branch closures are just the tip of the iceberg – underneath there is a huge infrastructure becoming increasingly unviable as cash use declines.”