Debit cards to overtake cash by 2018

Debit cards are set to overtake cash as soon as next year, new research has revealed.

Rapid growth in the use of contactless cards means cash will be overtaken as Britain’s most frequently used payment method by the end of 2018.

Spending on all forms of contactless systems now accounts for 28 per cent of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with total spend exceeding £10 billion for the year in 2016. In December alone, Worldpay processed over £1.5 billion in contactless payments with shoppers spending an average of £10.39 per transaction.

Poignantly, a quarter of UK consumers claim they’ve started avoiding shops that don’t take cards, while 30 per cent say they only use cash if absolutely necessary.

Sixty per cent of 24-34 year-olds say they would prefer not to have to carry cash, but are curtailed because one in ten small and independent retailers are still refusing to accept card payments.

James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: “Contactless cards have paved the way for rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, driving investment in infrastructure and familiarity among consumers.

“Today one in five of us will use the technology at least once a day, rising to a third of people in London.

“But as people get more used to paying for goods on their smartphone, mobile’s ability to bridge more effectively across online and offline retail channels will increasingly threaten the future of the traditional payment card. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they’d happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead.”

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