The trial, which ran from 4th to 22nd of December, and covered four catering outlets, has been expanded into eight outlets, including the Senior Common Room restaurant, Queen’s Tower Rooms, and the College Café.
Justifying the trial, the College claims over 80% of catering transactions are already cashless. A College spokesperson told Felix: “the cashless trial has so far been received very positively, and for many customers has actually gone unnoticed…early indicative results clearly show that the use of a cashless payment method is quicker than using cash.”
However, the trial has been met with criticism by students and staff. One postgraduate student they had stopped using College catering as a result. They told Felix: “I don’t understand why Catering feel they need to push out the 20% of transactions paid with legal tender.” Another student, who said they used to spend around £200 a month, “I have been completey disappointed with the forceful decision to reject cash payments…the College say that cashless payment is quicker, a claim that is unproven.”
They went on to say “anyone who has visited h-bar or the Senior Common Room in January will agree that the size of the queues has not been reduced, and the waiting time has not been improved at all. Instead of changing to cashelss payments, the College should think about hiring extra kitchen staff and opening extra payment tills.”
Felix has also heard reports of posters which had been put up around the Sherfield walkway last December, criticising the trial.
A College representative said the trial was put in place “as a result of feedback from students and staff expressing dissatisfaction with lengthy queue times in our outlets at peak times.”
The College says the trial will continue “into January”, but has not given a definitive end date. Following the end of the trial, an “evaluation will take place following the extended trial period and any subsequent permanent changes will be communicated in advance.”