21/04/2024 5:03 PM

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The Queen Of Beauty

just 7pc of us will pay with notes and coins by 2024

Britain will be almost cashless within three years, according to research that forecasts cash use to fall to just 7pc of spending in shops by 2024.

Cash accounted for 27.4pc of money taken at shop tills in 2019 but the pandemic halved this figure to 13.4pc last year, a report from Worldpay, the payments processor formerly owned by RBS, found. It predicted that notes and coins’ share of transactions in shops would fall to 6.9pc in 2024.

Last year 49pc of spending in shops was made by debit card and 21pc by credit card, Worldpay said.  

Other countries are turning their back on cash even more quickly, however. Norway’s shoppers used cash for just 4.5pc of their in-store purchases last year, down from 13.8pc in 2019, and the report predicted a figure of just 0.9pc in 2024. Sweden was forecast to have cash usage of 0.4pc in three years’ time, although its use of cash last year, 8.8pc, was higher than Norway’s.

France has already overtaken the UK on the road to a cashless society: its use of notes and coins was 11.8pc last year, 1.6 percentage points less than Britain’s, and was forecast to be just 5.7pc in three years’ time.

Worldpay said cash transaction values had fallen steeply around the world in 2020: by 21.9pc in North America, by 33.6pc in Europe, by 34.7pc in Latin America and by 36.6pc in the Asia-Pacific region. It forecast that cash use would decline by an additional 38pc from 2020 to just 12.7pc of global point-of-sale volumes by 2024.

“The sun is setting faster on cash,” the company said. “Cards, mobile wallets and other digital alternatives were already catching up or exceeding cash at the point of sale. With the pandemic, safety concerns around cash combined with physical distancing suddenly rendered it impractical.

“Though not inherently high risk as a virus transmitter, consumer perceptions about safety persist: 53pc of global consumers surveyed by Worldpay said coronavirus made them more hesitant to use cash.”

The company’s Pete Wickes added: “This research shows the speed and scale of the transformation in consumer behaviour in just 12 months. The decline in the use of cash in the UK has accelerated, and while this opens up new opportunities for businesses to optimise and drive efficiencies, we need to be mindful that important parts of the economy continue to rely on cash, such as charity donations and restaurant tip jars.”

Do you think you will still be using cash in 2024? Let us know in the comments section below.