Is the UK adopting a cashless society?

8 Sep 2020 @ 8.05 am
| Business

Whilst recent changes brought about by the use of new technologies such as smart watches, tablets, phones and other savvy gadgets have meant certain change for the way we pay in shops in the UK, the recent pandemic has been a game changer.

As stores begin to open for business again across the nation after the recent lockdown, many shops and service providers are now only accepting card and contactless payments in a bid to keep people safe. Whilst 59% of the UK population claim that they prefer to pay via card or contactless, 41% of people still prefer to pay with cash. So, what does this mean for the future of payments in the UK, and how will it affect society as we know it? Below we’ll take a closer look at the future of UK investing.

The trend of cashless payments

Whilst one fifth of UK businesses state that they currently have no plans to go cashless, the majority of service and goods providers are now choosing to make the move to cashless transactions, as more and more people demand a safer consumer experience.

This move seems to have come just in time for most businesses as 66% of all transactions in the UK are now contactless and 45% of people are saying that they are much less likely to use cash after the crisis. The figures show that whilst Britain was already moving towards a cashless economy; with the likes of smart watches and smartphones taking the place of physical cards, bank notes and coins, those that don’t jump on the bandwagon as businesses begin to open up, could well be left behind.

Ways to pay cashless

The rise in different types of technologies, combined with increased affordability as such technology becomes more common, means that paying via a contactless form has never been easier or more convenient.

Such technologies include smart products such as tablets, phones, watches, iPods and more, as well as jewellery, clothes and even by fingerprint. Now that the public are required to wear masks in public places, perhaps contactless payment could mean one less thing to remember as people leave their home.

Britain’s attitude towards going cashless

For many who grew up using cash, going completely contactless could in fact be a sad day as common tasks such as collecting pennies in a jar, flipping a coin or even just opening up your wallet to see a bunch of notes will no longer be options. Many consumers have also commented that it will mean a change in the way children are being brought up to understand money, with children perhaps losing the value of it whilst spending on apps and online games.

What does the future of payments in the UK look like?

Whilst it doesn’t look like UK society will be going completely cashless just yet, the recent pandemic means that more and more businesses are choosing to become contactless. Whilst the fall in cash use was originally predicted to happen over a five-year period, experts are now predicting this change to happen in just a two-month period, which represents significant change for society. Whilst many still cling to the tradition of cash, it seems that contactless is no doubt the way forwards.