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UK “could be cashless” in 10 years

The UK could be reliant on online and card payments inside 10 years, according to a study by Equifax.

Calum   Fuller

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Calum   Fuller
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The survey of more than 2,000 adults conducted by Gorkana, found that 37 percent of Brits believe the UK will be a cashless society within the next 10 years. Over half (53 percent) of 16-34 years olds believe we’ll be reliant on digital and card payments by 2028, compared to just 22 percent of those aged 55 or above.


While the use of cash is declining, according to official Treasury figures, it still has its advocates as respondents said coins are their top payment choice for vending machines (60 percent), parking meters (57 percent), charity donations (53 percent), and buses (52 percent), while paying with notes is the preference for taxis (42 percent).


While 46 percent of people use cash less often that they did three years ago, more than half (54 percent) of respondents use cash either as or more often, and almost three in five (59 percent) think shops, cafes or market stalls that only accept cash are convenient.


The findings also highlight that although the use of digital payments via contactless cards and online transactions is growing rapidly, some still harbour concerns over security. More than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents are not confident payments via websites or contactless cards are secure, and 26 percent think it is difficult to track money spent using digital methods.


Sarah Lewis, head of ID and fraud at Equifax, said: “We’re in the midst of an exciting smart payments revolution. We can pay for our lunch with our watches and passers-by are now able to donate to buskers via contactless. This growth of new payment technologies is drawing us closer to a cashless society, but long standing preferences for cash remain in certain situations, particularly among older consumers.


“The shift to digital payments in the new economy raises important questions about the role of different payment methods, and highlights the need to balance the convenience people want with security. As digital and online payments continue to grow, so too does the associated fraud. It’s vital that new technology is maximised to give people the reassurance they need as they change the way they spend.”

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