United Kingdom – A new cashless payment scheme intended to help combat fraud in the scrap metal sector has been officially launched by David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Officer at Sita UK’s metals recycling facility at Hayes in West London. The event was attended by Lord Henley, the UK’s Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction.
With this initiative, Sita UK believes it is the first company in the industry to ensure fast and secure same-day bank transfers to encourage fewer payments in cash. Henceforth, traders at the Hayes site will be given the option to receive payment by cash or via the new scheme, and will be incentivised to receive payment via a bank transfer on the same business day. The scheme will be rolled out to all of Sita UK’s 10 metals recycling sites over the coming months.
Welcomed by among others BT, Network Rail and the Energy Network Association, the move could be adopted by others in the sector to help reduce sales of stolen metal and metal thefts across the country, argues Sita UK. It estimates that £1.5 billion (US$ 2.25 billion) of the £5 billion metals industry is transacted in cash every year, which makes it easier to sell stolen metal, creates the potential for tax fraud and could mean a significant loss of tax revenue for the government.
The electronic payment system will sit alongside a new compulsory photo identification procedure so those selling metals can be positively identified.
Mr Palmer-Jones comments: ‘Metal theft is a serious issue throughout the UK and we fully support proposals to update the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. In addition, we believe that the use of a cashless system, coupled with compulsory use of photo ID for all transactions, will help to address the trading of stolen metals and issues such as tax evasion.’
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