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The Cashless Debate
Written by ThatMuhrenCross on Wednesday, 29th Jun 2022 10:19

Ipswich Town Football Club's decision to move towards a "cashless" Portman Road next season has proved to be a more controversial topic than first expected, not only on the TWTD Forum and comments section, but also across social media and in conversations between fans.

On one hand, you've got fans beating the drum about wanting to improve queuing times and make paying on the concourses simpler, on the other, you've got fans genuinely afraid of what a cashless Portman Road will look like for them.

Those in favour of removing cash will say it's simply as case of the club 'moving with the times', while those against will argue that some of Ipswich Town's most vulnerable fans will be the ones that suffer.

Of course, for many, this isn't just about Portman Road or Ipswich Town. The debate about cash versus cashless has been a heated one that has rumbled on for a number of years now.

The global pandemic has certainly accelerated any moves towards cashless, with simple changes like the contactless limit being raised and many small businesses making it their policy to not accept cash. It's a change that was inevitable, but Covid has brought it forward by a decade.

The consumer choice service Which? is one of the main voices behind the 'save cash' movement, saying that the poorer people in our society are disproportionately affected by the loss of access to cash.

They say on their website: "We’re heading in the direction of being a cashless society, but there are still barriers out there for a lot of people. It’s really important people don’t get left behind.

"Small business owners. Some people living with disabilities. Rural and isolated communities. People who have to live on tight budgets. All sorts of people up and down the country rely on cash."

According to their website, some 1.9 million people rely on cash for nearly every transaction they make. They claim eight million people would struggle in a cashless society.

The Post Office take a similar stance, saying: "We all have our part to play in protecting access to cash services because the future is uncertain – we must all act now to ensure no-one is left behind."

Back in March 2016, well before it was considered to be a contentious subject, Zlata Rodionova wrote in The Independent: "The move to a completely cashless society could mean governments have ever more control over our wallets."

Conspiracy theory? Who knows. Time will tell.

Of course, there are many advantages to society being cashless, such as cracking down on tax avoidance and money laundering, and of course the big issue that has been raised by ITFC of speed and convenience.

Justin Pritchard wrote in The Balance: "Illegal transactions, such as illegal gambling or drug operations, typically use cash so that there isn't a record of the transaction and the money is easier to launder.

"Money laundering becomes much harder if the source of funds is always clearly identifiable. It is harder to hide income and evade taxes when there's a record of every payment you receive."

The fact is though, as it stands, Portman Road will be cashless when Bolton Wanderers visit on 30th July.

Perhaps an option for those that still depend on cash should be considered. Ideas such as a single cash-only kiosk, token machines on the concourses or a team card that can be purchased with cash in the club shop have been mooted.

It will be interesting to see if the club takes on board the feedback from fans or if it will continue to press ahead with the cashless plan.




Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

SitfcB added 10:41 - Jun 29
It’s not new, they pressed ahead with it last season.

https://www.itfc.co.uk/news/2021/july/cashless-bars-at-portman-road/

Just the Fanzone and Beatties now joining, and the away end I assume.
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SouperJim added 13:12 - Jun 29
I've read some bits on the comments and forum, and I still don't understand why being cashless is difficult for some people. I see some pitfalls with cashless, suich as technological dependancy, but can someone exaplin to me in pigeon English why, on a practical level, some folk can't use a contactless card? I would say handling cash is the more difficult of the two?

If it's about ability to manage a digital bank account, actually get a contactless card and understand how to use it, couldn't the club do some community work around this?
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ThatMuhrenCross added 13:25 - Jun 29
I think it's not so much about whether it's difficult for many, it's more about a wider concern for everything going cashless. And there certainly are some moral/social issues surrounding it, which people are understandably concerned about.
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not_a_witty_name added 17:37 - Jun 29
I haven't seen anyone worried for themselves but only for hypothetical people.
Some people don't like change (pun intended) either good or bad so invent possible issues.
The same arguments get rolled out time and time again, it's just like decimalisation again.
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not_a_witty_name added 17:40 - Jun 29
One of the daft reasons is that contactless isn't 'real' but forget that money isn't 'real' either, just a representation of value.
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ElephantintheRoom added 07:32 - Jun 30
People tend to forget that large numbers of people have never used the internet, dont have access to it and don’t have mobile phones. And there’s a charge for ‘cashless’. And it’s easier to charge more because you don’t see your money evaporate. It may be the future here today - but it only works when the technology does. Here in southern France people have more time. I watched in amazement as an elderly couple slowly bought a few bits of fruit and veg off the market and paid by cheque. Later I was queuing in the boulangerie and they lashed out on half a baguette. Each time they were treated with respect, patience and good humour. And by the electropayment gizmo was a little note - minimum purchase 5€ - to cover the cost of using it
3

Blue_In_Boston added 08:36 - Jun 30
Some of the arguments for people who can't go cashless don't make sense. For certain disabilities card use is easier than cash. For the less wealthy in society who don't have bank accounts were most likely priced out of attending matches years ago.

1

Edmundo added 09:40 - Jun 30
Do you not remember the tickets given out last season to poorer families, or the season tickets donated to Ukrainian families? I know that's charity, but how humiliating for a family like that if, with a tight budget, and/or no access to money other than cash due to refugee status (or another reason, e.g. a controlling partner), they then can't even get their kids a drink without asking someone to pay for it for them on card.
There's also the thought process here of overspending: when I was younger I would always take a certain amount of cash out at the weekend, knowing that when it's gone, it's gone. That's a lot harder when you have taken the card out with you, and you've had a few too many to drink. Even harder to keep track of if you are paying by card.
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Carberry added 16:46 - Jun 30
SouperJim, it's about people who don't have bank accounts, have to use cash because they are the poorest in society. It's all there in the piece.
Of course contactless is incredibly convenient but only to those that have bank accounts and cards, which no doubt you do.
Should we deny these people so you can get your pint a bit quicker?
1

beacon added 13:46 - Jul 2
I personaly have no objection to cashless, recently at A music event i attended , technology failed as it does occasionaly. This meant for a short period no card transactions took place, cash was soon taken.
I also run a bar , we take cards and customers spend more with a card, is this a good thing, im not sure, it is from a profitability angle, also less pilfering, Many of my older customers still insist on cash. I think its a genaration thing, and maybe 10 years to early for cashless

1

KMcBlue added 13:26 - Jul 3
This article misses the real issue here. Unfortunately many fans are unable to see the bigger picture it seems...
2

Europablue added 06:56 - Jul 6
The contactless thing is alarming. It is so easy for someone to take your card and use it without any kind of security, it should be an opt-in system.
1

AlexanderFields added 11:59 - Jul 8
And so the sheople are nudged to take another step towards the new serfdom.
2

62WasBest added 12:58 - Jul 14
The issue about cash versus cashless isn't a "conspiracy" idea. Cash is important because it is physical and as such it is much easier to manage finances, especially where frequently small payments are concerned. The banks push cashless for their own reasons. If customers can't keep an accurate tally of their outgoings they are more likely to accrue debt. Living on debt is a relatively modern phenomenon in this country. (bar mortgage debt and the odd hire purchase). It is encouraged by businesses who make their profits from it. Young people especially have been encouraged to think it the norm.
The move to cashless isn't inevitable, it is all about saving costs and gives the consumer no choice.
Also as a wider argument, the very act of creating greater dependency on technology not only means less control and less freedom for the individual but also, as most of us have seen, can lead to a complete fiasco when the technology fails. Only yesterday my brother was unable to pay for a pub lunch for three because the pub couldn't process the payment by card. Luckily he literally lives next door. What would they have done if he'd been a tourist? This isn't such a rare occurrence. I have had in pubs myself and even in supermarkets. Who ultimately pays these failures? All of us eventually as bigger businesses will ensure they are not out of pocket and will recover their losses in their prices.

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blues1 added 12:21 - Jul 27
Elephantintheroom what has the Internet got to do with paying for ur food, drinks, goods at the football ground, by card? No different to using an atm, and if using contact less, even easier. Surely anyone can tap a card on a card machine. Did these people not eat during the pandemic when supermarkets weren't accepting cash? Its so much quicker this way too. U don't have to wait around for change, so it's simply order, tap and go.
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Daniel72 added 23:48 - Aug 7
I was in a pub today and the internet stopped working.. I was paying cash,, no prob;lm getting my pints...
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