Digital Payments Poised to Overtake Cash in UK

Banknotes and coins are about to become less popular than digital money in the UK as cashless payments overtake cash transactions for the first time, according to analysis by
The Times
.

The paper suggests that the pivotal moment could be reached in the UK as early as March on the back of a surge in demand for contactless credit cards and online bank transfers, reducing Britons’ reliance on physical currency.

The Payments Council, which oversees all payment services in the UK, predicts that 400m fewer cash transactions will be made this year than in 2014, while the number of cashless payments will rise by 700m.

On this projection cash payments will fall to 19bn by early March with the number of cashless payments hitting 19.9bn.

“We anticipate this year to be first year that non-cash transaction volumes overtake cash transactions,” confirmed Mark Bowerman, communications manager for the Payments Council. “However, we are not expecting cash to disappear anytime soon.

“It will continue to be a very popular payment method for certain types of people and certain types of situation. We make lots of spontaneous low-value payments by cash at the moment and lots of us will continue to do so.

While the volume of payments may be about to flip the absolute value of cashless transactions exceeds that of cash by far greater amounts. No more than £251bn is expected to exchange hands in the UK as cash by 2023, against a total of £9.3 trillion circulating as cashless payments.

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