Stalybridge speaks: Is cash still king?

A NEW report revealed two thirds of the public are opposed to a cashless society after fears contactless cards would be open to fraud and theft.

Moves by banks and stores to encourage customers to stop using real money are meeting with resistance.

While most retailers now refuse to accept cheques, it seems they have their work cut out to persuade customers to give up their cash.

So what did shoppers in Stalybridge think? The Correspondent canvassed the views of customers at the cash machine at Tesco’s and also shopkeepers on Melbourne Street.

Pat Marshall

Pat Marshall, 68, from Denton, said: “My grandchildren always want money so they would lose out. The only alternative would be to give them gift cards.

“I prefer cash, though paying by contactless card does have its benefits – it makes using the drive in at McDonald’s faster.”

Ethan Conner, 18, from Stalybridge, uses cash and cards.

“I would be happy without cash because it would save me from losing it. It would be easier without it,” he explained.

Ethan Connor

John Smith, 54, from Oldham, argued: “I don’t think there will ever be a cashless society as you wouldn’t get a builder!

“It wouldn’t bother me as I pay for most things with a debit card. I only usually carry £5 in cash unless I am having a night out when I prefer cash.

“I am sure shops will lose out as they have charges to pay for card transactions. There are pros and cons, but bigger problems in the world.”

Sarah Rushton, of Stalybridge, said: “I don’t often use cash – I am only here to get some so my son can have his hair cut.

“When I have cash, I want to spend it and there isn’t the same temptations with a card so I would be happy with a cashless society.”

Claire Bamford

Claire Bamford, 36, of Stalybridge, remarked: “It would make life easier not having to carry cash, though I cannot imagine my window cleaner having a card machine.

“The only time I go to the cash machine is to pay for things such as the window cleaner, but most things is by card.”

John Kay, 55, from Stalybridge, gets annoyed when customers at the supermarket use cards to pay for £2 worth of goods causing delays.

He said: “I use cards for my main shop, but cash for day-to-day shopping.

John Kay

“I use cards, but prefer cash and wouldn’t be happy if there was no cash.”

Gemma Atkinson, 27, of Stalybridge, said: “I don’t like to carry cash and am only here for it as the cash machine at my child’s nursery is broken.

“I walk home from work late at night so don’t like to carry cash. If my card is stolen, I can cancel it.

“You need some cash, though, for children’s rides and the ice cream man so I wouldn’t like cash to be stopped completely.”

Mark Hannen

Mark Hannan, 54, from Stalybridge, said: “I have been out for a night and paid by card and then had a shock when I discovered how much I had spent.

“By having money in my pocket, I know exactly how much I have spent.

“I like the feel of cash, though contactless cards are handy, but they limited to £30.”

Tony Lewis, 50, owner of Mettrics’ butchers, says 60-per-cent of his takings are paid by card.

Tony Lewis

He said: “It is a higher figure at weekends, but during the week you tend to get old ladies coming in for a couple of lamb chops and paying with cash.

“We also have an online shop and that can be paid for by Paypal. I think I have been given only one cheque in the last five years.

“I didn’t accept cheques for under £5 at one time because of bank charges, but you can shop around today for the best deals.

“I did draw the line, though, when somebody wanted to pay 75p for a can of drink, but their friend gave them the money.”

David Beech

David Beech, from micro pub Bridge Beers, explained that almost all his transactions are cash.

“We have lots of small transactions so there would be an issue of there was no cash,” he explained.

He continued: “I tend to find women want to use cards if buying bottles of beer for their husbands.

“People at the bar pay cash and it never enters their head to use cards. I associate them with buying things from big shops.”

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