Author: Paul Heywood
It’s said that in the next 20 years, the UK will be a cashless society and in the USA, almost two-thirds of Americans believe they will also be cashless within their lifetime. With this trend happening across the globe, perhaps the age-old saying ‘cash is king’ could soon be long forgotten.
The figures speak for themselves. In the first quarter of this year alone, a total of 88.1 million contactless cards were issued in the UK – a 35 per cent increase on last year – and during 2015, around £633 million was spent using contactless technology. It is unsurprising, then, that Payments UK found that debit cards are now being used for over half of transactions, with notes and coins making up just 45.1 per cent of payments.
This widespread adoption of digital payments resides not only with the fact the technology meets consumer demand for convenience with its ‘tap and go’ nature, but there are also a number of ways we are able use it. For example, the introduction of Apple Pay and Android Pay in the UK has resulted in more and more consumers reaching for their phones to pay for goods and services instead of using old-fashioned cash. In fact, the use of Apple Pay amongst iPhone owners grew nearly fourfold in a year, growing from 12 per cent last year to 47 per cent today and in the US, Apple Pay now claims 3 of every 4 contactless payments.
With these quick and efficient payments methods becoming more and more popular, cash is quickly being regulated to the side lines -so much so that it is estimated by 2021, debit cards and contactless payments will overtake cash usage to be the UK’s most frequently used payment method.