Almost three quarters of UK consumers (73%) do not expect to be using cash in five years’ time in light of the rise of contactless payments and mobile wallets, research released by digital media agency Starcom reveals, and a third believe cash will be extinct within the next 15 years.
Men are more comfortable than women at the prospect of a cashless society, the survey of 1,500 respondents found, with 52% of men saying they are unconcerned about living in a cashless world compared to 39% of women.
“Unsurprisingly, those aged 18-35 are far more relaxed about seeing the back of money, while half of Silver Surfers surveyed are concerned about going cashless,” Starcom says. “There are regional differences — those living in East Anglia and Northern Ireland are most concerned. People in Scotland, Wales and London are most comfortable.”
However, six in ten British consumers prefer having cash in their pocket and 57% believe that technology is less secure than hard currency, rising to 64% among those over 50 and 70% for those living in the East Midlands.
Participants also indicated a concern that the consequence of a cashless world will mean a “lack of control” over their finances and savings, with 49% believing it would mean they won’t realise how much they are spending. Overall, a quarter of respondents said they feel more secure and prepared when carrying cash.
“The way we spend, save, invest and earn is being disrupted by new technologies and innovations at a rapid pace,” says Pippa Glucklich, co-CEO of Starcom. “In fact, this survey shows that the vast majority of Brits believe cash will become obsolete, if not extinct, in the near future.
“This supports a wider trend we are consistently seeing where innovation around mobile wallets, wearable technology and biometric payments is fast transforming the traditional view and relationship between cash and shopping.”