Handepay press office

Many Beech Road traders are available for interview about their cash vs cards trade, how going cashless affected their business and what their customer reaction has been.

Contact: Democracy on 0161 881 5941

Graeme McGilliard | 07846 205593 | graeme@democracypr.com |@graymcgoo

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News release

Britain’s first cashless street open for business

 Plastic only ‘experiment’ for shoppers in Manchester suburb

Shoppers in Manchester are being given a snapshot of a future cashless society with the advent of the first street in the UK to trade entirely without notes or coins.

Stores on fashionable Beech Road, Chorlton, are going ‘cashless’ on June 21 for one day as a social experiment to test consumer and business reaction to the point in the not too distant future when paper money becomes redundant.

With the British Retail Consortium this month revealing that cash use has dropped 14% in the past five years and experts predicting the end of physical currency inside 20 years, this will be a reality for many consumers with developments in card and mobile payment making it easier than ever to get what you need without any cash in your pocket.

This is why the independent traders who run the road’s bars, restaurants, takeaways, bakery, hairdressers, convenience store, deli, boutiques and other stores – an area long associated with innovation and being on the edge of emerging trends – have agreed to ditch notes and coins and encourage customers to pay only with their cards for one day.

With the nation’s high streets fighting to keep their heads above water, the business owners see this as a way of keeping closer to their customer base by offering the latest and most convenient payment methods, including contactless payment.

The experiment is the idea of card payment provider Handepay, which supplies more than 22,000 businesses across the country with card payment terminals.

Mark Latham, product and innovation director at Handepay, comments: “We’re carrying less cash in our pockets than ever before and Britain is at the forefront of countries heading towards being cashless because the public are always eager to embrace new technology.

“Recent research showed that most Londoners would welcome a cash-free society as they are so used to paying for everything with cards. The introduction of contactless technology has only accelerated this process as transactions are now as fast as the pace of our lives.

“There is now an expectation that card payment is available everywhere – it takes us aback as consumers if it isn’t. Business owners love it too as it cuts down on queues, reduces lost sales and gives them more time to interact with their customers. All evidence shows that consumers spend more, too, as they are no longer limited to just the cash in their pockets.”

Mary Paul of the Beech Road traders association, comments: “Businesses can see the way things are going with more money being taken on cards across the board, so this is a very interesting glimpse into the future for all of us.”

Beech Road shopper Nicola Byrne commented: “The convenience of card payments is something I take for granted now and while I still use cash for small purchases out of habit this experiment shows that getting everything you need with no cash in your purse is an easy experience.”