Banks are quickly disappearing from high streets with another 193 branches set to close in 2023.
According to Which?, banks and building societies have closed, or have scheduled to close, a total of 5,355 branches since January 2015. Many banks, including Lloyds, Halifax and NatWest have already announced further closures for 2023.
While many have turned to online banking to manage their money some people - such as the elderly or vulnerable - still prefer to manage their finances with the use of cash. Physically seeing the cash in your hand can help to keep a grip on your outgoings as it is easier to see how much you physically have to spend.
READ MORE: Full list of bank closures coming in 2023 including Lloyds, Halifax, NatWest and HSBC
So for many the news of the closures could leave them worrying about how they will handle their money in the future. Luckily there are other ways that you can deal with cash, with or without your local banking branch - here's how.
Cashback in shops
More than 2,000 retailers across the UK currently allow shoppers to withdraw cash at the checkout without needing to buy an item or pay a fee. Shoppers are able to request to withdraw anything between 1p and £50 in cash at the till, which means they won't be restricted to notes as they are when using physical ATMs.
You can use use chip and pin, contactless or Google or Apple Pay to authenticate the withdrawal and you don’t have to buy an item in store or pay a fee. The service only works with UK current accounts and their associated debit cards.
To find stores near you that offer the new service you can search 'Link Cash Locator' online or download the free LINK Cash Locator app. You can then type in a postcode or location to see which stores offer the scheme.
However, Lloyds have stated the cashback scheme is "not a substitute for ATMs or branches" so you won't be able to deposit cheques or manage your bank account in this way.
Using your banking on an app may be easier than visiting the website. It is quick and easy to log in with most phones just asking for a thumbprint rather than trying to remember a password.
Some of these apps have other useful features, such as freezing your debit card or accessing cash if you’ve lost your card, all at the touch of a button. Some apps even have the ability to deposit a cheque using the app, by taking a picture of it.
There is of course one major drawback to relying on mobile banking, as customers of TSB have learned the hard way. If a bank’s systems go down, you could find yourself unable to access your money and may need to go to a branch.
Use the Post Office instead
The majority of personal banking customers and three-quarters of business banking customers can use the Post Office for withdrawing and depositing cash or cheques and to check their bank balance. It’s free and there’s no need to register, just bring your debit card with you. You can find your local Post Office branch here.
However, the Post Office still isn't a full substitute for an actual banking branch and comes with restrictions. For example, to pay in cheques you may need a paying in slip and deposit envelope from your actual bank (they should give you this for free if asked). For account queries, changing details or applying for bank accounts, you will need to phone your bank directly or go to a branch.
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