The cashless trial at eight of Imperial College London’s outlets has been extended for a second time, until the end of February.
The trial, which originally began at the beginning of December across four outlets, was continued through January, when it was expanded to eight outlets. The trial will now run until the end of February in outlets including the SCR Restaurant, Queen’s Tower Rooms, and the College Café, among others.
While the pilot is in place, students, staff, and visitors will be unable to pay with cash, but will be able to pay with Yoyo, contactless, and chip and pin. The College’s justification for the change is to “reduce queuing times and create a faster service”, citing feedback they had received on these issues. They claim that, on average, over 80% of transactions are already cashless.
“Staff and students have criticised the move to cashless-only”
Since the start of the trial, a number of students and staff have spoken to Felix in criticism of the changes. One postgraduate student told Felix she had stopped going to College outlets, but recognised this was not possible for all students. Theodor Videnberg, a postgraduate student, cited a number of concerns over the move to cashless transactions: “Cash is a valid and legal tender, and I see no reason to prohibit it at the College. The College has not provided any statistical or scientific evaluation of the reason for the long queuing times they cite. They have not shown they are due to the paying procedure itself, rather than more fundamental issues [with the catering systems]”
Students and staff are able to leave feedback on the trial through an online form. The College say that they will be “assessing [the trial’s] overall impact…and will publish this evaluation here online in March.”