ANTI-POVERTY champion, Cllr Joy Jones, has warned that people could be driven into financial trouble by the move towards a cashless society.

Due to coronavirus, shoppers were urged to pay for items and services by using their debit cards.

This was due to unfounded fears that the virus could be transmitted through banknotes.

To help this and protect people from transmitting coronavirus the contactless payment limit was raised from £30 to £45.

Cllr Joy Jones, (Newtown East – Non-Aligned) who is the official Powys County Council (PCC) Anti Poverty Champion explained: “With many businesses now re-opening in Powys we are entering a new normal, I would urge businesses to still take cash.”

“The elderly and those in poverty are less able to buy goods or services that require cashless payments.”

She added that figures released by Financial Inclusion Commission, say that 1.5 million adults in the UK do not have a bank account, and this will include people in Powys.

She has also spoken to Newtown residents who have had their cash payments turned down and they would need to travel further to find shops willing to take their money

Cllr Jones added: “Those who do not have a bank account are penalised are not able to get the best deals on their household bills, and with some shops now not accepting cash, people are more excluded than ever.

Cllr Jones said: “For those in poverty cash is a big part of their lives, they use it to budget.

“When you take cash out of your pocket you can see the physical impact, and you know how much money you have to last you.

“In tapping, clicking, or swiping that physical transaction is gone, and people may struggle to control their spending.”

“Some people who have poor credit rating are unable to get a bank account, or if people are paid in cash, it means going to the bank, before they are able to spend their money.”

Cllr Jones also said that  in a cashless society couples with shared bank accounts can track each other’s purchases, which could potentially make it easier for abusers to harass their spouse.

Following research into the use of cards to cash. Personal finance information provider has said that contactless payments have become the new normal.

They said that  66 per cent of all transactions across the UK are now contactless.

45 per cent of people in the UK admit their use of cash has fallen throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

22 per cent saying the no longer using cash at all.