Cashless Squadrons?

So here is a good hypothetical.

So the bbc are running yet another story about the end of cash…
Let’s say for the purpose of this that this comes to pass and cash is all but disused.

How would cadets pay for canteen? Or other cash bought stuff on Sqns?

Would every Squadron have to get a card reader or 2 and at what cost?

Would every cadet have to have a pre paid cash card like Revolute or similar?
Cant see either happening.

So based off of this limited examination. I cant see a cashless society any time soon.

contactless - or more likely to get into the Cadet’s mind - via the phone as many seem to be able to do now.

ok you raise the point about a device which allows that payment to be made, and at what (handling/processing) cost for 60p-£1 purchases at a time.



although the rise of online shopping, and contactless/digital payments increase there will always be examples for cash and why i struggle to see it going entirely.

until everyone is willing and able to embrace technology* I can’t see it happening. My phone allows for payments, but i have chosen not to even open the Samsung Pay app, i don’t even have my bank’s app on my phone.
These examples of technology being ignored need to be addressed so when the time comes (cash free society) the process of swipe, click, click, , click, tap send and have transferred £15 to a mate for my share of the bowling alley, or £40 to Squadron for Annual Camp becomes a normal and routine task we complete on a weekly, if not more frequent, basis.

*and by this i mean Smartphones - will also know people who don’t have one either because
1 - they don’t need that kind of processing power to ring Ethel to arrange a coffee morning
2 - they simply are not technically minded enough to cope with a smart Phone
3 - they are a technophobe in whichever form and choose not to need one.

Sweden has been heading towards being totally cashless for a few years with great success, however there has been some push back, such as the vulnerable and elderly who just can’t grasp the concept.

exactly my point in the list number 2

my Mum can cope with email on a desktop PC, and can use SMS text messaging on her phone. But receiving emails it is clear it is not a smooth exercise when emails with photos are attached, or even replies to my emails are not “reply” but a freshly composed email written as if it were a reply.

Although my Dad has a smartphone, pointblank refuses to consider WhatsApp (my communication app of choice) and so requires me to write an email, with attached photos of our day out rather than the alternative which my in-laws happily embrace.

This is not confined to just your parents I can tell you!

However a time will come where the generation that has never gotten to grips with technology will no longer be with us. At which point it stops being an issue as far as the cashless society goes.

Those who refuse to use contactless or online banking will eventually be forced to by circumstances. As Cash becomes scarcer it will eventually become expensive to process and companies will stop accepting it.

If you take the London Underground as an example, paper tickets from ticket officers were initially supplemented by ticket machines and an electronic payment card (Oyster). You now have the ticket offices completely removed as alternatives made them unpopular enough to not be required. Paper tickets are the next in London Underground’s sights as so few are bought (most people use Oyster or Electronic Payment), so within 5-10 years they will be withdrawn. After that London Underground would ultimately like to get rid of Oyster and go with just electronic payments for adults and the Zip Cards for Children and they are actively structuring their business as they did with the ticket offices to bring this about.

Wider society will go the same way it’s inevitable, just not today or tomorrow.

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Since C-19 reared its head, you simply can’t use cash anywhere near me - some of the big places like Tesco’s are still taking it, but the farm shops, the butcher, the baker, the greengrocers, the hardware store - they simply aren’t accepting cash any more that they are accepting Groats or fisheads as currency. It’s been a bit of a jolt for some, and there have had to be some workarounds until the banks could set (a small number of) people up with contactless cards, but I don’t see many shops going back to cash - they’ve simply seen the resource benefits of not having to deal in cash.

It probably is the way to do, but as a staged migration and not in all circumstances - yet.

A priority should be eliminating cheques.

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What are they?

I’ve moved these posts to here for a fuller discussion on this issue alone.

To that end, I’ve removed the ‘real question’ from the OP, because it was just inflammatory.

The question of a cashless squadron is an interesting one. As someone who is forever lacking in change, I have a tab with the cadets’ tuck shop, perhaps we could use that system!

I’ve run a bar at a wedding using a small card machine, one of the ones you see advertised that connects via your phone. It worked brilliantly. You can preset items on the app for things you sell regularly (canteen items for example) and you can also do adhoc payments for other things (like courses and activities).

We’re looking in to PayPal and other such online event management finance services too for an extra option. I think it would be a great idea but I’m not sure of the logistics around theft/fraud from a canteen point of view.


Yep before they shut all the coffee shops in London stopped taking cash at the start of C19.

We are looking at a contactless reader for bag packs, no reason it couldn’t be used for tuckshop the rest of the time.

I know of a Police Station Tuckshop that takes cards through one of those readers directly into a paypal account.

The problem with cadets going “cashless” for canteen, would mean they would need an eligible ‘bank’ account and card, unless I’ve completely misunderstood card payments.

The problem with everything being cashless is you lose the frivolous, spend on the Mrs, which if it was cashless and she looks at the bank statement loses something if she knows how much you’ve spent.

The biggest problem is in the wider society, where those on low pay, benefits etc or even those getting paid a reasonable amount., keeping track of money. I have for as long as I can remember got an amount of cash out each week and that’s what I have. Before that I got paid in cash and just after I left 6th Form a fortnightly giro. Probably why I’m gnerally cautious with money.

There needs to be a wider moral perspective from financial institutions and systems in place to stop people spending more than they physically have, be that by tap & go or pin, and putting a physical block on the amount you can spend in total in a day, without an agreement from the bank, not just per transaction.
I personally like ‘holding folding’, otherwise they are just number on a screen or page.

A cashless canteen break would be a pain in the backside!
It seems to take them forever and a day to line and buy their snacks as it is without the extra delay of entering the amount into a terminal and then waiting for it to process.

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You must just have crap Cadets :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: my lot go through canteen like a tornado.


Oh they’re lightning fast to line up… I think half the problem is that they spend so bloody long deciding which and how many items to stuff their faces with. Turn over is healthy, let’s put it that way.

I know of two squadrons who use cashless payments at their canteen and one also uses some sort of stock control software. They both allow cash payments too but cadets (and staff) tend to prefer card payments. Both think it works pretty well and wouldn’t go back.

Bear in mind though, there’s usually a loss incurred in processing charges, the actual terminal etc.

How do cadets do cashless though? Are they old enough to have debit cards? Our kids didn’t have one until they were 18.

I had one at 13, although some banks restrict contactless to 16/18 yo

There are “pocket money” cards like GoHenry, which are preloaded by parents, and don’t need a bank account attached.

I think most of them charge a monthly fee, though.

Back when I was a youngster I had a Visa Electron “cash card” with my Halifax account. It wasn’t a debit card, though other than the fact that virtually nowhere seemed to accept the damned thing back then, meaning a trip to a cash machine, I couldn’t tell you what specifically was different to make it “not a debit card”.