Enabling digital payments for everyone during COVID-19 pandemic and enabling business afterwards

Health & the coronavirus pandemic has made cash an undesirable payment method, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) advising everyone to wash hands after handling cash. This sends a clear message to shops and consumers.

Not everyone has embraced digital payments for a variety of reasons & trust, availability, ease, transparency and in some cases accessibility. A very common misconception is the simple number of unbanked adults; Research by the Financial Inclusion Commission suggests the UK number is a staggering 2 million, thankfully projected to drop to 1.23m by 202[1].

Under normal circumstances this is a frightening number, but when the world isn’t taking anything other than plastic banking poverty takes an entirely more sinister tone. Banking poverty currently costs families around £485, but in a pandemic this can mean the ability to buy basic provisions.

Payji’s vision for Bristol Pay in conjunction with the Bristol Pound is to enable consumers to have choice & payments received can be paid for using SMS, card or withdrawn in cash. But critically, customers have choice, and it is a system designed to be inclusive and accessible to all.

We believe strongly in choice, control and giving users of Bristol Pay an unprecedented level of options, offers and all the benefits a competitive financial market can bring to them. We also believe business should have simple and effective means of taking regular or single payments without extraneous charges and risks.

During these changing times it’s important we empower our communities to have the ability to function as close to normal as is practical and adapt to the requirements of the day.

Bristol Pay is helping retailers become e-tailers, restaurants become take-aways and educators become e-educators all through the power of e-money.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/apr/22/britons-without-bank-account-pay-poverty-premium