Just 7% of in-store purchases in the UK could be made in cash by 2024, a report has forecast, after the coronavirus pandemic fuelled the switch to cards and mobile payments.
While cash accounted for 27% of in-store transactions in 2019, the latest global payments report from processing company Worldpay found that had fallen to 13% last year. The report predicts usage will continue to drop over the next three years.
International figures showed that in several other countries, including Sweden, Canada and Australia, already less than one in 10 shop payments are made in cash. It predicted Sweden would be “almost cashless” by 2024, with 0.4% of transactions paid for with money, down from 15.2% in 2019 and 8.8% last year.
Consumers and businesses were already moving away from cash payments before the pandemic hit, but early concerns that Covid-19 could spread via surfaces led some companies to switch to contactless methods.
The increase in the contactless limit on cards, and mobile payment services with no cap on spending have accelerated the switch away from cash. Worldpay said that by 2024 it expected mobile to make up a third of payments.
The research exhibits the speed and scale of the transformation in consumer behaviour over the last 12 months. The decline in cash has accelerate and while that may open up new opportunities for businesses to optimise efficiency, we need to remember that important parts the economy, such as charity donations and tip jars, continue to rely on cash.
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