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Do you no longer carry cash? You’re not alone

contactlessA fifth of Britons no longer carry cash as contactless payment systems become increasingly popular for transactions.

Half of 2,000 adults polled for a survey believe cash is on the way out and will ‘soon’ be superseded by alternative payment methods.

Three quarters said they now expect all retailers to accept cash payment alternatives – such as contactless.

Commissioned by First Bus, which accepts contactless payments and cash on all services, the study found 44% have been unable to pay for something because cash was required. It is commonly the case that bus fares and car parking are cash-only.

A spokesperson for First Bus said: “We are immensely proud to offer our customers the option to pay by contactless on every bus that we operate across the UK.

“The way people pay for goods and services has evolved, so we needed to ensure our ticketing changed too. The introduction of contactless payments alongside our digital ticketing options means that paying for bus travel is more convenient and simpler as customers don’t need to worry about having the right change for their bus fare.”

Of those who don’t tend to carry cash, four in 10 think other payment methods are easier and more convenient to use.

One in 10 don’t carry change because they fear they might lose it and a third simply don’t like carrying ‘shrapnel’ around.

Eighteen per cent tend to spend more money if they carry cash around and a quarter don’t have time to get to an ATM.

It also emerged, the only cash a fifth of those polled carry around is a pound for the shopping trolley. And further to this a third of UK adults are certain Britain will one day be completely cash-free.

But it’s not just physical money which seems is less popular – cheques are on the decline too, with more than half (58%)  revealing they never use them nowadays, while two in five don’t even own a cheque book.




Carried out through OnePoll, the research also found that 47% of adults would be more willing to use buses if contactless payments were accepted on this form of public transport.

A spokesperson for First Bus said: “We are aiming to receive 80% of ticket payments through digital channels by 2021, with the ambition for digital payments to exceed cash payments by Spring 2019.”

The move to a cashless society coincides with the decline in bank branches and ATMs. New research reveals that Edinburgh has seen the most branch closures in the UK with 50. Cornwall was secondwith 46 and Glasgow third with 38.

Data from Statista shows that across the UK 4,735 ATMs have vanished in the past 12 months, which averages out at 394 cash machines closing evey month.

Guy Moreve, Chief Marketing Officer at Paymentsense, said: “ Our research earlier this year highlighted that as a society, we’re now close to becoming cashless with contactless making up over 42% of all transactions. 

“ATMs and bank branches are closing at an alarming rate. This in part is affected by the rise in contactless transactions and the need for cash falling.

“As consumers become more comfortable in using digital forms of payments the need for cash machines is decreasing.”



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