© Bloomberg

The reported fact that “cash was used for 17 per cent of payments last year” (Lex column, FT.com August 10) is a tribute to how essential it remains. “People use physical currency less and less” — this is inevitably true at the end of a 15-month pandemic with lockdowns and closures. This 17 per cent is calculated by value. Measured by frequency of transaction, cash is an easy winner, even after such a restrictive year.

The “state-owned Post Office” for those in need of cash is gone in many villages or even small towns. Pilot bank hubs (combined with post offices) are a good idea, though right now all these are experimental and temporary. Banks are in competition with each other and may need government incentives to collaborate on shared premises.

“Whizz-bang fintechs” often go pop. Cash is safer and still essential for all of us.

Marianne Pitts
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK

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