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September 4, 2014

UK “closer than ever” to becoming a cashless society

Almost half of Britons would do away with cash today if they could.

By Vinod

Britain is swiftly becoming a "cashless society", according to figures showing that more and more of us are stopping using cash in favour of card and online payments.

In fact, nearly half the population (48%) say that they would rather not carry cash at all, and wouldn’t bother if they didn’t have to, according to research from payments provider Worldpay.

Younger consumers seem particularly keen to do away with cash, with nearly 60% of 25-to-34-year-olds saying that they would prefer to never carry cash and 33% of the same group saying that they already try not to.

In contrast, the majority of Britons aged over 45-years-old still prefer to have cash on them, indicating the gulf in opinion between the age groups.

Much of this seems to be down to force of habit, as nearly a quarter (24%) of those who prefer cash over card say they do so simply because they worry about card payments not being accepted everywhere, and 18% say they favour cash simply due to habit.

"People aren’t going to stop carrying cash overnight. It still has its uses," said Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK
"But with more businesses of all kinds taking cards of all values, and with a clear preference among younger people to pay by card wherever possible, we are definitely going to see people using much less cash."

WorldPay’s report is the latest in a series of findings that show the world’s movement towards a cashless society. Recent research by analyst house Juniper Research found that the amount of payments made using mobile, online and contactless methods could be set to reach $4.7 trillion (£2.76 trillion) per year by 2019.

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Worldpay, which offers payment options for over 200 payment types in 115 currencies, currently processes over 8.4 billion transactions every year.


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