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Will Technology Turn us into a Cashless Society?

Posted by: Sam Wheeler

Did you know, in 2015 card usage overtook cash for the first time?

The new technologies and digital innovation which are allowing this to happen are having a huge impact on how we conduct our financial transactions.

Giles Mason of the UK Cards Association says, “Three-quarters of all retail sales are now paid for by card. Last year, individual card payments overtook cash for the first time [in volume]. By 2017-18, in the UK, cards will be the primary method of payment across the population.”

According to the Payments Council, the proportion of cash payments was less than half of the number of payments made in total last year.

Cash payments have fallen from 52% in 2013 to 48% in 2014 for business and financial organisations and consumers alike and it’s looking as though it will only continue to fall. If this is the case, the UK needs to be ready to support the switch over from cash by way of updated payment technologies and new infrastructure. Retailers in particular, will need to offer new payment solutions.

“Contactless has changed the face of payments in the UK. Where people may have used cash for low-value purchases, they can now pay by card just as quickly.” says Mason.

The recent increase in contactless limit from £20 to £30 has boosted usage of the contactless payment method and this will only continue to rise. The touch and pay method is becoming such a normality that innovative new wearable near field communication (NFC) technologies, similar to the Apple Watch, will surely enter the market as the popularity of cashless payment grows.

Alongside these NFC technologies are the innovative applications which go with them, revolutionising the way we can purchase goods. For example Apple Pay, this allows you to pay for items with the touch of your iPhone against a reader and the phone-holders thumbprint.Or the ID Check app which allows the user to pay by way of facial recognition! Another NFC in the form of a wristband not only allows purchases, but also allows the unlocking of doors and password storage, verified by the user’s heartbeat! 


Source: The Indipendent  

Are we prepared for selfie and heartbeat verification technology over our coins making a dash for it out of our trouser pockets after a night out, or a purse full of shrapnel we’ll never get around to using?

Yes, people will use mobiles and cards more often than cash to make purchases nowadays and the move away from cash is indeed happening, but will a totally cashless society ever be the better option? Who knows?!





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