- September 14 view article

Third of Britons unhappy with move to cashless society

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PUBLISHED: PUBLISHED: 00:01, Thu, Sep 14, 2017


Most Britons are reluctant to let cash go

The study from consumer analysts Mintel confirms that most Britons are reluctant to let go of their traditional coins and notes.

While a cashless society is most appealing to those aged 25-34 (46 per cent), a willingness to give up old-style cash declines with age, falling to only a fifth (20 per cent) of Brits aged 55 and over.

But women (28 per cent) are less in favour of a cashless society than men (38 per cent), while regionally, those in London (37 per cent) and Scotland (36 per cent) are most comfortable dispensing with cash.

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While alternative payment methods continue to grow, the demise of cash has been greatly exaggerated

Patrick Ross - Senior Financial Services Analyst at Mintel

This compares to just 30 per cent of Britons living in Yorkshire and Humberside and South East/East Anglia (respectively).

Patrick Ross, a Senior Financial Services Analyst at Mintel, said: "While alternative payment methods continue to grow, the demise of cash has been greatly exaggerated. Many people still prefer using cash, while others simply like to have some cash with them just in case. Although card payments are almost universally accepted in urban areas, cash continues to play an important role in everyday life."

While Brits are keeping a tight hold of their coins and notes, as many as half (49 per cent) of all consumers have used a contactless debit card in the last three months, while 45 per cent have used a contactless credit card.


Just three in ten Brits have used a cheque in the last three months

And while alternative payment methods continue to evolve, just three in ten (31 per cent) Brits have used the humble cheque in the last three months, making it among Brits' three least favoured payment methods.

Only contactless smartphone payments (13 per cent) and contactless wearables (9 per cent) attract a lower number of users.

Although consumers continue to adopt high tech payment methods, Mintel finds many Brits remain reluctant to use them.


Thirteen per cent of Brits used contactless smartphone payments in the last three months

More than half (52 per cent) of consumers say they would put off using a payment method if it is not widely accepted.

What is more, some four in ten (37 per cent) who have not used a smartphone to make payments or transfers in the past 12 months say they simply prefer using other payment methods (eg cash, debit card).

Meanwhile, 34 per cent of the same group say they have security concerns about smartphone payments or transfers.

Mr Ross said: "Despite widespread ownership of both smartphones and cards, many people continue to show a preference for cash. Putting aside allowances for finding anything in a bag quickly, it's clear that there isn't all that much difference in terms of the convenience of these options. The fact that contactless smartphone payments don't offer added convenience over contactless card payments will remain a significant barrier to uptake."

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