Forty percent of people think cash will be obsolete in 25 years

A survey has revealed that more than one third of people think that a cashless UK is just around the corner.

The research, carried out by ​independent​ ​facilitator Vivatic for Expert Market, revealed that 39%​ ​of​ ​millennials, ​and​ ​more​ ​than​ ​one​ ​third​ of​ ​generation​ ​X​ ​(34%) and​ ​baby​ ​boomers​ ​(34%)​ ​think​ ​that​ ​cash​ ​will be​ ​obsolete​ ​in​ ​​25​ ​years’ time.

The major take-away from the survey, and not an entirely surprising one, is that cash is increasingly unpopular amongst millennials – to the extent that nearly one quarter of millennials (24%) claim to have thrown away change rather than carry it on their person.

Mobile payment and banking apps prove far more popular – with nearly half of millennials (41%) claiming that they prefer to pay their friends back via apps, rather than use cash.

“There is no doubt that the UK is seriously lagging behind when it comes to digitised payments, especially when you look at countries like Sweden where many shops and cafes have stopped accepting cash payments for several years now,” Lucy Crossfield, Lead Researcher for Expert Market told PaymentEye.

“Becoming a fully cashless society is a huge change, but our research shows that consumers across all age groups are ready to make the switch.”

The effects for small businesses that do not offer a cashless payment option to their customers could also be damaging, as over half (68%) of millennials claim that they have wanted to purchase from a store and have not been able to, owing to the store only accepting cash. This isn’t unique to the young either – 56% of generation X and 50% of baby boomers also claim to have faced this problem.

While consumers of all ages seem to be ready for a cashless UK, it seems that cash isn’t on the way out just yet.

“Cash will be with us for quite some time, and will coexist with a wider range of payment types to suit a range of preferences,” said Steve Shirley, Chairperson of Project Inclusion & Vice President, Public sector at MasterCard.

“However, it is clear that new forms of payment which bring added convenience and security are driving cash use down. Contactless is a clear example, but if you take the recent Christmas spending figures as another, it demonstrates the continued shift from the high street to online payments.”

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