Hay’s population is less than 2,000, a number which includes a wide cross section of people from a variety of social backgrounds. Hay has a large proportion of independent retailers, and a lot of visitors, making businesses’ ability to access and deposit cash key to the viability of the community. The annual book festival raises additional challenges in terms of large numbers of people needing to access a very limited cash infrastructure for a short period of time. The local leaders of the Hay pilot were keen to explore a wide range of solutions to support their needs, including both a traditional cash access/ deposit infrastructure, better ways of supporting local retailers in their cash handling, and supporting greater digital inclusion.
Services that were made available through the pilots:
In Hay-on-Wye we offered:
Support to get online banking and work digitally. Not everyone finds digital banking easy or straightforward. We offered practical support to help consumers get online.
Cashback from local retailers –we worked with retailers to offer cashback so that when people bought things from local stores they could also ask for cashback of any amount – whether a round figure (e.g. £10) or just what they needed.
Guide to what banks can offer . The banks offer a wide range of services that most people don’t know about. In fact, as we set up these pilots, we had requests for a lot of services – and found that many were already offered. We wrote a short guide to these services.
Getting debt advice and support to manage money more effectively. We worked with Hay Community Group and the banks to provide support on for customers who need help with budgeting or debt advice.
In Hay-on-Wye we offered:
Cashbackfor customers – at no cost to businesses.
With limited ATM facilities in Hay-on-Wye, we believed that many consumers would welcome the chance to get more cash locally. We also suspected that if people got cash locally, they would spend it locally. We therefore offered local retailers, cafes and restaurants the option to give out cashback to consumers, with costs covered by the pilot.
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