Figueres released from the British Retail Consortium today reveal that cash is still the most popular form of payment in UK shops – BBC reports here. Findings from an analysis of 10 billion retail payments in 2012 showed that cash accounted for about 54% of all transactions. However, it also found that the popularity of vouchers and coupons is on the rise. Non-cash, non-card payments rose from less than 2% to 5% of the total.
Peter Turner, CEO, CreditCall, comments on the findings: “As long as there is trade, there will always be a need for some form of cash exchange or, at the very least, an exchange of a ‘token’. What’s interesting about these results is the rise of alternative payments. If we take it a step further, there are some major implications here for the future of payments. With the creation of virtual communities, particularly on social media platforms, it stands to reason that payments could follow a similar trend. We could see ever more cash alternatives in the form of virtual currencies – and it’s already happening with Bitcoin.
“If virtual currencies find increasing favour, we should consider how they are ultimately governed. They will naturally fall outside traditional geographical and political boundaries and instead be defined by online territories. So could we see a future where those who control the internet also control payments, currencies and customer data – giving them the real power?”
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