A newly launched change card and app developed to replace coins by Fintech firm Shrap has introduced its pilot program – with the first two testing initiatives currently underway in Rochford in Essex and Denny in Scotland as part of the United Kingdom’s Community Access to Cash Pilots.
As noted by the company’s management:
“Think of Shrap like your coin jar… But when you want to use the change you have collected, there is no need to bag up coins and take them to the bank. Or pay high fees at a coin-cashing machine. Or ever deal with the coins at all, for that matter. Conveniently store your change, spend it, or withdraw it to your bank account. Using Shrap will ALWAYS be free of charge and anonymous.”
With a considerable decline in cash usage across the UK – especially after the global COVID-19 outbreak – the overall cost of supporting the infrastructure needed to sort out, transport and distribute cash is no longer practical.
Shrap’s management noted that they plan to make cash a lot more efficient and accessible by eliminating the requirement for coins – which includes low domination coins – most of which are only used a few times or just once.
When using cash at a retail shop, the business may provide change via a Shrap card. Clients are able to keep their change on the card – or Shrap’s mobile app – and can then make small payments to their friends or at local stores, anonymously and for no extra cost. Companies are supposed to maintain a “float” on the platform, with change provided via the mobile app or through an EPoS integration.
Shrap is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and generates revenue by accruing interest on the cash that it holds.
Natalie Ceeney CBE, Chair of the Community Access to Cash Pilots, stated:
“One of the biggest risks to cash is its continued acceptance by businesses, and the biggest driver of cash acceptance is the cost and hassle of handling it. We are excited to be working with Shrap across several communities, trialling an innovative solution that enables businesses to continue accepting cash but without the expense and hassle of handling coins. Removing the need for coins in a cash transaction is another step to help us keep cash sustainable.”