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Brits expect cashless society within 20 years

21 June 2016  |  8934 views  |  7 cash

More than two thirds of Brits and three quarters of Londoners think that cash will be a thing of the past in just 20 years, according to a survey.

The poll of 2000 Brits, carried out by the Mayor of London's PR company, London & Partners, shows that 68% of people think that cashless technologies will completely replace physical money by 2036. The figure is even higher in London, which has seen the most marked rise in the use of contactless payments thanks to the technology's presence on the public transport network.

Elliot Goldenberg, head, digital payments, MasterCard UK & Ireland, says: "We're in what you might call a perfect storm for payments right now. There is a virtuous circle of creation and adoption in fintech where tech-savvy consumers and entrepreneurs are feeding from each other."

London & Partners claims that the attitude to new payments technology is an example of the UK's status as a fintech centre. According to research from EY, the sector generated £6.6 billion in revenue last year and supports 61,000 jobs.

Last week the Bank of England outlined plans for its own fintech accelerator programme, with governor Mark Carney saying: "Financial technology companies will change the nature of money, shake the foundations of central banking and deliver nothing less than a democratic revolution for all who use financial services."

Comments: (7)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 21 June, 2016, 13:14

Yet another survey predicting the end of cash, whilst the amount of money withdrawn from ATMs actually increased last year. A survey of 2000 people out of an adult population of the UK of 40,000,000 is unlikely to be an accurate basis to extrapolate from.

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Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson - Liberti Consulting - Northampton | 21 June, 2016, 13:39

I agree. I sometimes wonder whether the people that publish these sort of statistics genuinely believe it adds any value to the discussions around the demise of cash which, in my opnion, will be around for much more than 20 years.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 21 June, 2016, 19:14

This is self-fulfilling prophecy. Not because what it says will make it come true. But because people will forget what it says in 20 days.

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John Candido
John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne | 22 June, 2016, 10:36

I agree that the end of cash is not expected tomorrow or even next year. But the prospect for a cashless society’s eventuality is clearly inevitable to me, even if it isn’t something that a lot of people cannot foresee for the time being. There are just so many signs of cash’s inevitable decline that I don’t give cash a snowball’s chance in hell to survive the next let us say 50 years or so.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 22 June, 2016, 17:01

Please tell me the signs of cash's inevitable decline in the United States, Germany and the Arab world, where cash is still king and does not show any signs of declining in the foreseeable future. It may be the case in Australia, where less than half of one percent of the global population resides, but in many large, and often sophisticated countries, cash is still the preferred apyment method.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 24 June, 2016, 09:54

This is not the first time I've come across a country-agnostic comment by one commenter (e.g. John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne) to be parsed / interpreted / steered by another commenter towards a specific country inferred from the former's profile. 

This is not such a big deal except when the latter is anonymous and there's no country listed against them.

To establish a level playing field, I request @Finextra to either (A) stipulate that comments from anonymous members should not include unprovoked references to a country (hard to implement?) OR (B) mention the country of anonymous members (easier to implement?).

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John Candido
John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne | 24 June, 2016, 11:17 Thank you for your support on this point Ketharaman. I agree with you.
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