Controversy as AMEX announces plans to go cashless

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Credit: Paul Hazelwood

The AMEX stadium has become the latest Brighton and Hove business to go card-only.

The stadium announced it is planning to phase out all cash transactions by August 2020.

The move has caused controversy, with some locals pointing out that not everyone will be able to access a cashless stadium.

Mike Hobden wrote on Twitter, “even the candy wagon… are ALL of your customers over 18?”, while Arthur Grey argued the move shows “no consideration for elderly people without cards or children” and is “a retrograde step back.”

The UK is the world’s third “most cashless” society, with 57% of consumer transactions using “non-cash” methods, according to Forex Bonuses.

But there has been a recent backlash against cashlessness, with some arguing that it excludes vulnerable people. A March 2019 study by Access to Cash Review has revealed that, without action from the government, more than eight million individuals in the UK would ‘struggle to cope in a cashless society”

However, some locals have spoken out in support of the move, with Ivor Caplin, calling the move “an excellent decision”, and adding that the cashless system “works very well at the Oval with plenty of access to machines so no delays”.

Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber argued the move will benefit fans, “Our research shows the average transaction time of a cash payment at the Amex is 167 seconds, compared with 83 seconds for all card payments”.

Barber said, “we appreciate there are those fans who like to pay in cash, but technology is evolving quickly and ultimately we have made this decision to benefit the majority.

“The good news is that a majority of our fans are already paying by card rather than with cash in the stadium, so the transition will be quick and easy for many fans.”

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One local joked that it was not just the card-only system, but the expensive prices at the AMEX that were exclusionary. Matthew Sowerby commented “to be honest I’m always cashless with the prices you lot charge”.

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