The ubiquitous plastic payment card is steadily eroding the market share of cash as global economies increasingly edge towards a cashless future, according to new data from Retail Banking Research.
RBR states that 471 billion cashless payments were made worldwide in 2015, up 52% since 2011. At the same time, ATM cash withdrawals increased at a slower rate of 33% as consumers are increasingly moving away from carrying notes and coins and taking advantage of alternative payment methods.
According to RBR, payment cards account for 55% of cashless payments in 2015, up from 50% in 2011 - they represent the largest share in all regions except Asia-Pacific.
Other alternatives to cash, such as credit transfers and direct debits continue to show steady growth, while the use of cheques plummets.
The impressive surge in cashless transactions will continue, forecasts RBR, with cards increasingly being used for lower-value payments, supported by the spread of contactless-enbled eftpos terminals. Meanwhile, growth in credit transfers is being aided by the implementation of systems enabling real-time transfers.
RBR’s Chris Herbert comments: “The soaring use of contactless cards for low-value payments as well as immediate payment initiatives, which will facilitate person-to-person mobile payments, will further displace cash usage over the coming years”.