The Government has agreed an amendment to the Financial Services Bill which will enable shops to offer cashback to customers without making a purchase.
The amendment to the House of Lords Financial Services Bill, tabled by Conservative Peer Lord Holmes of Richmond, will remove an existing requirement for retailers to register with the Financial Conduct Authority to offer cashback without an in-store purchase within the same transaction.
In its written submission to a HM Treasury call for evidence on the future of the UK’s cash system, ACS called for the Government to ensure that retailers are not obligated to offer this service and those who do must be guaranteed fair remuneration.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Over two thirds of retailers offer cash back to customers, so we welcome the extension of retailers offer cashback without having to purchase products.
“A number of useful trials on extending the use of cashback without purchase are underway, and there is still much more we need to learn about how this can be offered securely and viably for retailers. We shouldn’t view cashback without purchase as a full replacement for a properly functioning and funded ATM network.”
Figures from the 2020 ACS Local Shop Report show that more than two thirds of convenience stores (68%) already offer cashback to customers, with around half (49%) providing a free to use cash machine.
Supplying cashback without purchase will not be mandatory for any retailers. The change will come into force two months after Royal Assent of the Bill, which is expected shortly.
Lord True, speaking on behalf of the Government in the Lords said: “Industry will have discretion to make the service available across the United Kingdom. Where the service is offered, customers will be able to walk into a local business that wishes to participate, such as a corner shop, café or pub, and withdraw cash without having to make an accompanying purchase.”