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Banking on Dorking

18 August 2023

By Kathy Kyle, BID Manager

According to BBC, an average of more than 50 UK bank branches have closed each month since 2015.

We all know that technology has advanced to enable businesses to accept electronic payment options, including Apple and Google pay. In a 2020 report by Marqeta, nearly half of consumers 51-64 say they use ‘mobile wallets’ not just for retail transactions, but to reimburse friends and to tip service workers. Some report that paying by phone is often easier than looking for their wallet, and that mobile payments are more secure than paying by card as there is a biometric component (meaning you must scan your face or fingerprint to make the transaction).

It can’t be denied that we are living in a digital age. It is considered by many to be convenient, safe, and efficient.

However there are downsides to refusing to take or make cash available to customers. Research has shown that cash remains a necessity for millions of people, with the elderly and those with disabilities among those likely to struggle with digital forms of money. And banks are more likely to close their branches in disadvantaged areas. (BBC, 2023)

It is about choice, experience and staying competitive

According to You Gov, only three percent of UK adults have become totally 'cashless', meaning they never use banknotes or coins for payments. The way we pay for goods and services has changed rapidly over the past five years, and there is willing on the part of both our younger and mature generations to accept new ways of working.

Andrew Fuller, Chairman of the Dorking Town Partnership Business Improvement District, and owner of S C Fuller -- the oldest shop in Dorking, said "Despite the reduced use of physical money over the past few years, we know through our day to day interactions in our businesses that our customers still value the tangible aspects of cash. This is also reflected in the research and experiences of other high street businesses across the UK."

Everyone in our community deserves to have access to services, food, and goods. It is about choice, staying competitive, and the customer experience.

Businesses can’t afford to lose a sale when or if the wifi goes down. If a business requires counter services, they do not have time to wait ages in line at the Post Office to pay in or to make change (if they have the necessary change at all) if someone in front of them is conducting other business (no offence to our friends who work at the Post Office - Hi Pam!) .

Vulnerable people in our community should not be left behind. And quite simply, we should make it easier for our customers to shop, visit, and enjoy our high street. Our community should have the freedom and independence to make transactions with the currency that they choose to use, and our businesses should have the choice to take cash or to go cashless.

When we make it difficult for people to shop with us, to visit our leisure centres (who no longer take cash - despite their lockers requiring it), when their experience on our high street is unpleasant - or worse, difficult - our non-digital native -- and sometimes our digital -- customers will quite simply go elsewhere. The high street already struggles attracting shoppers due to digitalisation: according to Statista, the UK leads Europe with nearly 60 million e-commerce users and has the most advanced e-commerce market in the region, with £133B and 38% market share. Let's not make it worse by adding an additional barrier for both shoppers and businesses.

A Banking Hub for Dorking

It is disappointing to read LINK’s decision to not recommend a Banking Hub in Dorking. The BID requested that the banking survey be conducted in Dorking and fully supports a Banking Hub in town. In order to maintain a competitive trading environment and an enhanced customer experience, it is necessary to encourage and support a Banking Hub in Dorking. The BID will continue to monitor the progress of this initiative and advocate for a hub. The Dorking BID supports progress for our town, the implementation of digital transformation tools to stay competitive and creative ways to enhance the lives and livelihoods of Dorking businesses and the community we passionately serve.

Our high street, much like many of our British high streets, needs all of the help and support it can get to stay competitive. We also believe that banking should not be a zero sum game. We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with our community partners to keep Dorking vibrant and competitive.

So far, only seven permanent hubs have opened in various areas across the UK.

But what do you think?

Let us know in the comments.

Banking in Dorking

Here is a list (as of 18th August 2023 according to Link) where the public can access banking services and cash in Dorking:

Nationwide Building
Society
Dorking

(Office hours below)
Post Office
Dorking

(Office hours below)
Cardtronics UK Ltd
Waitrose Dorking
164 High Street
Dorking
RH4 1UR
175 High Street
Dorking
Surrey
RH4 1SA
48 South Street
DORKING
Surrey
RH4 2HQ
Cashpoint is free to use
Open 3 days per week
Everyday bankingCashpoint is free to use
Cardtronics UK Ltd
Dorking Service Centre
Cardtronics UK Ltd
Rontec - Pippbrook
Royal Bank of Scotland
Tesco
2 Reigate Road
DORKING
Surrey
RH4 1SG
18 London Road
DORKING
Surrey
RH4 1JA
Reigate Road
Dorking
Surrey
RH4 1QD
Cashpoint: £1.99Cashpoint is free to useCashpoint is free to use

Cardtronics UK Ltd
Dorking Station

Station Approach
DORKING
Surrey
RH4 1TF

Cashpoint: £1.99

Nationwide
Building
Society
Post
Office


Friday  9.00am - 4.30pm
Saturday  Closed
Sunday  Closed
Monday  9.00am - 4.30pm
Tuesday  Closed
Wednesday 10.00am - 4.30pm
Thursday  Closed
Mon    09:00-17:30    
Tue    09:00-17:30    
Wed    09:00-17:30    
Thu    09:00-17:30    
Fri    09:00-17:30    
Sat    09:00-12:30    
Sun    Closed    
Welcome to Dorking

8 comments on “Banking on Dorking”

  1. It is really not acceptable that there is no bank representation in the town. A banking hub is the minimum service the big banks could provide. Where can people/ local charities pay in cash from events or obtain change for fairs, fundraisers etc. it’s pretty disgraceful. The post office were unavailable to provide change when asked.

  2. A banking hub should be opened in Dorking it is a much needed facility to enable all people to access why should people have to worry about where they can access cash not everyone is able to go on line

  3. Since Lloyds closed in Dorking, my nearest branch is in Epsom which makes going to the bank a much harder and time consuming process. And I appreciate there are others that this is even more difficult for. It’s nice to know the town has a support network trying to resolve these issues. Thank you!

  4. Are people going to stagger down to Nationwide when they’re doing the bulk of their shopping the other end of town? In addition, there are bank interactions which require face to face encounters. I don’t think the last bank in any town should be allowed to close. People need banks still.

  5. We are not a bank but MVAM is a financial advice company that invests people's money directly into financial markets. We are on the High Street in Dorking and open 5 days a week. We feel that banks are closing because they are more focused on short-term financial targets while unable to measure the benefits of a real relationship with their clients. a relationship that can only come about through some face-to-face time. So if you were looking to your bank for some financial advice and find it closed, you know where we are.

  6. As an individual, I can pay cash into my personal bank account at the post office, which in my case is in a convenient location, albeit that I sometimes just don't have the time to join the lengthy queue.

    However, as a business owner, I CAN'T pay cash into my business account at the post office. Apparantly, either the Post Office or Lloyds Bank or both won't allow this to happen. Also, I can't withdraw small change from the post office, so I can't replenish my till with change for customers who want to buy using cash (and there are still a number of customers who want to do this). Effectively, therefore, it becomes very difficult to accept cash payments unless the customer is prepared to go without getting the necessary change for their purchase.

    A banking hub is absolutely essential for businesses in Dorking and very highly desirable for individuals.

  7. We have been looking to change old coinage but no change machine are available in Dorking you can drive to Redhill Leatherhead so is there a problem there will be when the Post office closes as I'm lead to believe.

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