A FORMER banking industry chief who visited Shetland while attempting to live without using notes or coins in a “cashless” experiment has welcomed trials of card payments on inter-island ferries.
Having to pay by cash or cheque was Mike Chambers’ main cashless criticism after visiting the isles in 2019.
Chambers – a former CEO of the BACS payment scheme which operates direct debit in the UK – said introducing card payments on ferries would have been more efficient.
Late last year, however, Shetland Islands Council began trialling card and contactless payments on the Bressay and Whalsay ferries after long delays.
“It’s great to hear that the Shetland Islands Council are trialling card and cashless payments for ferry journeys,” Chambers said.
“Paying digitally for goods and services is convenient, efficient and fast and I am sure will be welcomed by residents and visitors alike. This is a positive move by the council in an increasingly digital society.
“I look forward to a contactless ferry journey when I next visit the mainland and the North Isles – when it is safe do to so of course.”
Chairman of Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee Ryan Thomson, meanwhile, said that card payments would have already been introduced in the Yell Sound and Bluemull Sound ferries if it was not for Covid-related delays.
“While there has been some initial teething issues with the roll out of credit and debit card payments on Bressay and Whalsay, these are minimal, and transactions through this process are at a reasonable level,” he said.
“It is fully expected to increase as the travelling public become more aware of the opportunity to pay by contactless, and hopefully as Covid restriction measures are eased in the future.
“Going live on Yell Sound and Bluemull Sound, although normally would have commenced by now, has been delayed by Covid and crewing restrictions and arrangements.
“We continue to review plans in line with Covid, and will roll out card payments on these routes in line with the overall Covid situation.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 440 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News