Cash a relic of its time for digital shoppers, Worldpay

Cash a relic of its time for digital shoppers, Worldpay

Yet more ‘cash against the ropes’ predictions, this time courtesy of trade association Payments UK and payments processor Worldpay. Rapid growth in the use of contactless cards means notes and coins will be overtaken as Britain’s most frequently used payment method by the end of 2018, the former’s report claims, although it stresses that many people still like cash. Even in ten years’ time it is expected to make up 21% of all payments. 

“The popularity of contactless means that we expect debit cards to overtake cash as the UK’s most frequently used payment method in late 2018, three years earlier than we previously thought. This is a significant shift but it’s vital to note that even in the face of this change, we believe any claims the UK will soon become a cashless society are wide of the mark,” says Adrian Buckle, Chief Economist at Payments UK. “People will always want to choose the payment methods that best suit them, and cash will remain a frequently-used payment method for the foreseeable future. In ten years’ time, we will still be using cash for one in five payments in the UK, even as mobile payments and other innovations provide ever greater choice about how to pay.”

According to Worldpay, which handles 40% of all card transactions in the UK, spending on all forms of contactless systems now accounts for 28% of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with total spend exceeding £10 billion for the year in 2016. UK consumer research commissioned by the company found: a quarter of the 1,999 people surveyed claim they’ve started avoiding shops that don’t take cards, while a third only use cash if absolutely necessary; two-thirds of 24-34 year olds would prefer not to have to carry cash. At the same time, however, one in ten small and independent retailers are still refusing to accept card payments, whilst a further 10% impose a lower limit on non-cash payments.   

James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, says: “For today’s digitally driven shoppers, cash has become a relic. It’s easy to see why that’s the case, as innovations like contactless and mobile payments continue to raise the bar in terms of speed, simplicity and convenience. For consumers, being able to pay by which ever method they choose is a minimum requirement of what it means to be a modern retailer.”

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