Why Browns of Brockley stopped accepting cash

Some interesting stats in the article show that the move has saved them money overall. It undoubtedly makes their staff safer from burglary, too.

What are your thoughts on a cashless high street?

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Groundbreaking. A brave decision that looks as though it’s paying off.

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It reminds me of the (apocryphal?) story I heard a while ago in which a thief used a stolen debit card to fund his online gambling addiction. When he finally had a win, he was gutted when the winnings were credited back to the legitimate card-owner’s account!


Lol… credibility of article slightly undermined by calling Brockley “leafy” ?

I rarely carry cash these days as I really don’t need to - everywhere seems to accept cards and with contactless payments it is really very quick. I am always surprised when I see someone pay with cash so I don’t think Browns will loose much custom…

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I use cash all the time in fact other than online purchases never carry a card. Never had a problem and at least when I tip it’s picked up by the waiting staff not allocated to the business account.

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Smells like a marketing gimmick to me. Calculated to not hurt their bottom line as most of their customers probably use Apple Pay anyway.

As an aside, would love to know whether they can legally refuse cash if their prices are denominated in Sterling.

I’ve been looking at this throughout the day to see what others opinions are.

I for one could never do this as so many kids would be upset - but that’s just what suits my business.

BTW I don’t even take cards, but the shop next door has a free cash machine which all that don’t have cash on them go to use 10/10

It’s quite interesting though to look at this for possibly other businesses including others I’m involved in.indirectly

I do try to make sure if I am eating out that I have some cash for a tip but other than that I can go months without cash. I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t have direct transport costs, I get free lunches at work, free newspapers and free coffee so day to day I just have no need to carry any. However I did get caught out the other week when I was low on petrol and had left my cards at home - had to dig around in the car to get a few quid together but I was close to running out…

That is interesting but I suspect they can - if TFL can get away with it on buses then I guess it isn’t illegal.


Interesting before I retired never had cash everything was on cards but the joys of expense accounts have gone, but now I enjoy spending cash in some ways it makes you appreciate the value.
Mind you I am amazed at people who pay a £1 or 2 on card and my pet hate the people in the till queue who only realise they have to pay at the last minute and then rummage through bags or pockets looking for cards then try a couple to find one that has Funds!
Also quick tip if buying something significant offer cash for a discount as the store may have to pay from 2 - 5% on your card transaction or a cheque clearance fee


I have until recently been sceptical about the “death of cash” but I’ve changed over the past 6 months. I was very much a “if its a small amount / bar bill use cash” - both in UK and on holiday. But I am increasingly going contactless these days (txns <£30).

I suspect that there will be more retailers like Browns - they are an outlier, but then 20 years ago it would have been common to take a cheque book and cheque guarantee card on a weekly shop (younger readers may need to google some of the words in the last sentence). And that is now history partly because it took time (and therefore expense) for retailers to process cheques.

Worth mentioning that small retailers now don’t need to go to a big bank with their monthly charge for card machines. There are various suppliers providing card readers that plug into Smartphone/Tablet.


You can legally accept or refuse whatever payment you like for immediate transactions in a private business (well, within reason). There’s certainly no obligation to take paper money any more than there is to take cards. There are though different rules for settling debts, when legal tender must be accepted, so it depends on the nature of the transaction.

I’ve significantly reduced my cash usage in the last year or so since getting contactless cards and finding that a decreasing number of businesses are cash only. I will sometimes take cash out as a precaution if going to a new place which I’m not sure takes cards, but invariably they do.


I collect air miles so use my cards kfor everything. Except bon bons at Sugar Mountain.


I think if you just take cards you exclude the under 16s and people with foreign cards. I hate being abroad and buying a coffee for £3 and getting charged 30p from Lloyds for the privilege so wouldn’t use contact-less abroad so I presume it is the same for foreign cards here.

The other thing that I hate is the fact that it becomes difficult to search you bank account as you have over a hundred small transactions on your statement each month. I have solved this by having 2 cards, one for major stuff and one for the little stuff, anything from a Twix to a few pints. I would still carry a tenner normally just in case.

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I’d highly recommend getting a Monzo card if you travel:

No fees for using it abroad, and they use the wholesale FX rate. I did a round-world trip a few months ago and the card worked brilliantly everywhere I tried it (and the push notifications are especially useful when travelling)

The interface is also very good. I like the way it auto-categorises and geo-locates transactions:


Halifax Clarity (credit) card offers a similar deal (inc wholesale FX).

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Not many round-the-world trips include Leamington Spa in the itinerary but I suppose some of them must do.


After noting the fees charged after commission on my AmEx I think it’s time to get a Monzo. Any referral codes?

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Thanks Chris. Another Forum member sent me one earlier so I ended up using that onem