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"Another hurdle to overcome" - Age Concern responds to cashless payments

Thursday 01 July 2021

"Another hurdle to overcome" - Age Concern responds to cashless payments

Thursday 01 July 2021

Older people who are not "card conscious" could get on a bus without knowing their cash is no longer accepted, following short-notice changes to ban physical notes and change.

CT Plus announced this week that its States-subsidised bus service would go completely cashless from 1 July, coinciding with a major relaxation of border restrictions.

Age Concern Chairman David Inglis said it was the first he had heard of the news, which comes into force today. The charity supports older islanders, both above and below pension age.

"We do have a good relationship with CT Plus, however on this occasion they have omitted to give us advance notice so that we can advise our members," he said. 

"We meet four times a week at different places around the island, so the opportunity is there for CT Plus to come and speak to our members."

Pictured: Mr Inglis urged CT Plus to engage with its members and talk through the changes directly with them. 

Following the pandemic, Mr Inglis is cognisant that the trend towards cashless payments has been accelerated. It is a wider question which the charity is grappling with as it looks to nurture new habits among members who have always relied on cash transactions. 

"Many are accepting that the use of money is being reduced and that it is a means of contamination," said Mr Inglis. "But ironically we meet four times a week and have bingo, and the only way to take part is to produce a Pound.

"We are trying to work out how to best address this. We have, for example, been working on collecting the donations people make to us through a mobile PDQ.

"But the fact is that the older person isn’t necessarily card conscious. It is a change that is being forced upon us I am afraid."

The decision from CT Plus comes two years after contactless cards were first accepted on Guernsey's bus. It means that cash will no longer be accepted, with Puffin Cards, contactless cards, and concession/student cards the only ways to get a ticket.

Passengers who want to buy a pay-as-you-go puffin pass with cash can still do so by visiting the Town Terminus Shop. To help the transition, CT Plus said that people with mobility issues - who do not have contactless payment options and can’t visit the terminus shop - can call 700456 for help.

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