SHOPS are to be paid to offer cashback in an effort to make it easier for people to get hold of physical money as bank branches and cashpoints vanish.
The scheme is being funded by Lloyds Banking Group but retailers will still receive the fee if they provide cash to customers of rival lenders.
Launched in partnership with Visa, the initiative is to be tested in a small number of shops and people will have to buy something in order to get cashback.
But Lloyds says it could be extended to more than 50,000 stores and expects that the requirement to make a purchase will soon be dropped.
The group’s retail director Vim Maru said: ‘Our new cashback pilot aims to increase the number of places where people can withdraw their money, particularly in those areas under-served by free-to-use ATMs.’
Lloyds hopes the scheme will lead to more people visiting shops, such as newsagents and small convenience stores, at a tough time for high streets.
It will target rural and less affluent areas where cashpoints are hard to find. The size of the fees paid is yet to be set.
Jeni Mundy, of Visa, said: ‘Although digital payments continue to grow in popularity, many people still rely on cash to manage day-to-day expenditure.’
Consumer group Which? said the scheme was welcome but it wanted to see more detail about how it would work.
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