Digital payments overtook the use of notes and coins for the first time earlier in the UK in the first half of 2015.
- 6 million consumers predominantly used cash. Nearly 40% of those who depended on cash were aged 65 or older
- 3 million consumers rarely use cash, while half of those who used it infrequently were aged under 35.
- A quarter of all cash payments by consumers were for a value of £1 or less, while 56% were for £5 or less.
Payments UK said it had not expected cash to be overtaken by non-cash payments until 2016, and it forecast that by 2024 it would be used for just 30% of payments.
Mobile payments are also likely to increase significantly heading in to 2015 with the introduction of Apple Pay in the UK, and mainstream banks increasingly offering apps with account-to-account transfers using only a phone number.
In July, consumer group Which? warned that data from contactless cards could be easily stolen by using inexpensive card-reading technology bought online
September 2015 saw contactless card limits increase to £30 in the UK,
in part to help cover the average supermarket spend of £25.
The Scandinavian countries lead the world in cashless payments. A staggering
four out of five purchases are now made electronically in Sweden.
Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard, has took a particular strong stance on cash, labeling it dirtiest secret of the modern economy, pointing to the facts that it’s hard to track, expensive to print, produce, and distribute; and enables illegal activities.