Your front page story about retired coalman Leslie Pateman not able to get served at a local café because he wanted to pay in cash, shows the need for continued choice of cash and card payments at shops and café facilities, not just in our towns but in rural locations.

We need to champion cash. Shops and cafes should promote cash to boost their businesses and provide a service. Cash should be a convenience not an inconvenience. Local shops and cafes should be grateful for the custom, however people pay, not turn customers away who have cash.

The café facility at the visitor attraction Queen Elizabeth Country Park seems to be one of a few places that only accept card transactions, which is a great pity. To be turned away like Mr Pateman for wanting to pay in cash is short-sighted, a poor customer service and just wrong. 

The recent economic lockdowns are now seen as hugely damaging, but one rather sinister consequence was for some businesses to just use card payments to simplify their business operations saying that it was designed to keep people safe and was just a temporary measure. Cash became almost a dirty word for some.

Another local café which refuses to accept cash is the Plump Duck on the Heath. It says that only card payments are accepted at this friendly and welcoming facility to ‘keep people and our team safe’. It also requests contactless payments where possible. I have sometimes fancied a cup of tea on a local walk round the pond and only have cash. So I had to walk away. My son, just an 11-year-old school boy has had two separate instances of being with friends wanting ice creams at the Plump Duck Heath kiosk and ready to pay in cash. They were turned away. I think for children to carry credit and debit cards just to enjoy an ice cream is immoral. Not everyone wants to use a credit card for a low value purchase. I know the Heath café is busy, but they most loose quite a lot of trade by being so restrictive, Can businesses afford to do this? A lot of older people too only carry cash, so everyone misses out.

There is an arrogance for such businesses to adopt this attitude that they are successful enough without the need to use cash and rely on new smart technology, mobile phones and card readers. Technology does not always work and older people and children are being excluded.

Cash is the means of trade and the backbone of our economy. It is part of our everyday life.  

Jeremy Holmes

Durford Road, Petersfield