British people are ready to stop using cash

Contactless card being used at payment terminal

Cash in the UK is in quite the precarious position as new research shows that 44% of British people are prepared to ditch notes if card payments were universally accepted.

The research, conducted by MasterCard, surveyed 2000 people and found that six out of ten people prefer to pay with cards or other digital payment methods over cash. Seven out of ten respondents actually say that they already use newer payment methods more frequently than cash.

Perhaps most importantly is inconvenience. If a payment method is becoming a hassle, people will stop using it. What’s telling is that just under 40% of people have said that they feel inconvenienced when a retailer does not accept contactless payments. Twenty percent of people simply walk out of or even completely avoid shops and restaurants that don’t accept card payments.

Unsurprisingly, the younger people (between 25-34) are already looking forward to a cashless society as 62% of that age group saying they would stop using cash if card acceptance was universal. That number drops, but not by that much in other groups as 53% of both 16-24 and 35-44 felt the same way.

On the whole, 25% of consumers believe cash will die out in their life time.

Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK and Ireland, said:

“While many people still have cash in their wallet, it’s clear that we’re witnessing a big shift in the way people are making every day payments.

“In particular, contactless is driving this trend as it eliminates the need for cash for small transactions – our own data shows contactless spending is growing 225% year on year in the UK.”

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