Is cash on its way out

What does the future hold for cash?

In these Covid-19 times where social distancing is paramount to safeguarding us all, remote deliveries and contactless payment are the preferred option.  So, does this ring the death bell on cash as a means of payment, do we need it, do we want it and what is its use moving forward?

Over the coming years, it is likely that even more alternative digital payment methods will become ever more widely accepted and used.

We have Apple pay where you can pay without contact using your mobile phone, Apple watch or ring.  There is talk of microchips embedded in the skin of our wrists providing the same function in future

2017 saw debit cards overtaking cash as the most frequently used payment method in the UK.

So what is the point of cash?

Many people will continue to use cash in their daily lives until such time as it is withdrawn from circulation as a payment method.  Often people say that they like cash because:

  • It is a fast and convenient way to pay
  • It is very widely accepted
  • It is helpful for budget management

Some people (not all of us) also like the fact that cash payment is entirely anonymous.

It is easy to access cash, with over 45,000 cash machines in the United Kingdom that are free to use.

Surely our government would want to see fully traceable online payment only as this should eradicate cash crimes and “hiding the proceeds under the bed”.  Who knows, but our widespread use of contactless payments in these trying times must be changing our habits – probably for good.