Wednesday 18 October 2023

Have We Passed Peak Cashless?

I would like to congratulate two institutions in East Oxford, two pubs in fact; The Cape of Good Hope and The Cowley Retreat, see: and: I visited both these hostelries at the weekend and was expecting the usual, saying to my friends: "Can I give you this banknote and you buy my round?" Reason being, both those pubs have been on my hit list of conspiratorial notoriety because they have both been cashless since I last checked. We went into the Cape and I walked up to the bar with a friend who was buying the round, but in my hand I held my open wallet. I was poised, waiting for the barman to notice me and say the expected "Sorry, we don't accept cash", but he didn't. Then the till rang and a drawer slid out. The person standing next to me was paying with cash!... I was delighted and told the barman so. I also asked him when the Cape went back to accepting cash and why. He replied that the brewery had gone back to a cash service at all their pubs a few months ago; and he then lamented that this means they needed to buy extra insurance and a new safe and a security courier etc. I pointed out that this is what retailers of all kinds have been doing since the invention of money; and the latest evidence puts that back to sometime in the late Neolithic. Why has it only now become such a burden? We moved on to The Cowley Retreat and the same thing happened, although this time the barmaid didn't grumble about it. As I say in the background links below, I hoped that a time would come in the future when we could reverse the cashless landslide, but I didn't think it would be so soon or that retailers would do so almost willingly it seems; even though neither publican answered by question of why. Perhaps it is simply customer pressure. Maybe the example set by heroic people like Piers Corbyn, see:, has woken people up; or is that just wishful thinking. Perhaps I am being too optimistic and this is just some kind of eye in the hurricane, but the office at Oxford's Gloucester Green bus station also accepted cash, as did the bus drivers, see: Also this morning I returned to the grocer I mentioned in this article, see:, and had an enlightening conversation with one of the staff. When the manned tills were all shut this time I went up to her and asked: "Are any humans available to serve me?" She laughed and replied: "Humans? They're trying to do away with us!" I said: "Yes, that's why I always use you." She thanked me and showed me to the customer service desk where I paid with cash. Also this story supports my white pilled theory: I'm curious to see if this positive trend continues. Perhaps we cashies are about to be vindicated. In the end, maybe it's been worth it to ride out this storm.
See here for background:


Snarnok said...

That is great news Ben! I went to two different barbers in my local town and they are both cash only. I was very pleased to see that, and I gave them a cash tip as well for supporting cash. It was interesting to see trendy young men with their smart phones having to pay in cash only.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Snarnok, serve them right! I do think we might have turned a corner. Let's hope so.