Published on 9th March 2023

We have analysed the two YouGov surveys issued by the Bank of England and HM Treasury in connection with the public consultation on ‘Britcoin’: the plans for a UK Central Bank Digital Currency.

There is one survey for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, and one for Consumers.

They both consistently over-egg the current take-up of digital payments – meaning card payments and online/mobile payments – and the customers’ desire for more of the same.

They obfuscate the detriments of these payment methods: Authorized Push Payment Fraud for both consumers and SMEs, and deductions-from-face-value suffered by SMEs when they accept card payments.

BACS and cheques have been written out of the narrative of UK payments, and physical cash is supposedly in steep decline, despite consumer support for it. Indeed consumers want access to the branch networks (and their accompanying ATMs) that the banks are speedily closing.

The surveys do not so much make a case for the introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency as demonstrate how detached the cards ecosystem and the online/mobile payments industry has become from the UK’s SMEs and consumers.