The Payments Council said the use of cash by consumers, businesses and financial organisations fell to 48% of payments last year. The remaining 52% was made up of electronic transactions, ranging from high-value transfers to debit card payments, as well as cheques. Cash volumes are expected to fall by 30% over the next 10 years.
The Payments Council, which oversees the system of transactions, said that moves towards debit card, contactless and mobile payments would drive the move away from cash.
We hear from Ray Brash, MD and Chairman at PrePay Solutions – a leading European prepaid services company:
“It’s really no surprise that cashless payments are gaining in popularity when you consider the benefits they offer. The payments industry has seen an enormous amount of innovation during the past five years, and it’s clear that consumers are enjoying the flexibility, reliability, security and convenience that this new generation of payment options provides.
Contactless, in particular, has grown exponentially in several European countries and has now been integrated in the smartphone, for us, for example, with EE’s Cash on Tap. Even without contactless, the vast majority of smartphones can be used to make payments in some shape or form. As we see customers’ confidence in technology grow, their reliance on cash will reduce even further.
The prepaid sector has been highlighting the benefits of cashless payments for years. The flexibility and security that these solutions provide make it easy to see why consumers are now consistently choosing cashless payments over cash. We expect the growth of this market to continue apace, as new payment methods and technology grow to maturity and become more integrated and accepted.”