Cash will account for just seven percent of in-store purchases in the UK by 2024, according to calculations from Worldpay.
The study found that cash usage for in-store purchases in the country declined from 27 percent in 2019 to just 13 percent last year, with the Covid-19 pandemic fueling a shift in consumer payment preferences.
Across all countries studied, cash usage dropped by 10 percent in 2020 to 20 percent of transactions. The Worldpay report predicts that many European countries, including Denmark, Norway and Sweden, will be almost cashless by 2024, and that the growth of non-cash payment methods will be primarily split between cards and mobile payments, with mobile payments expected to comprise a third of the POS market in 2024.
Pete Wickes, general manager, Emea, Worldpay, says: “This research shows the speed and scale of the transformation in consumer behavior in just 12 months. While this opens up new opportunities for businesses to optimize and drive efficiencies, we need to be mindful that important parts of the economy continue to rely on cash, such as charity donations and restaurant tip jars, while there are many in society who remain underbanked. Fintechs and regulators need to collaborate to build new frameworks that allow for this shift and use technology to boost financial inclusion especially for those underserved communities.”
Commentng on the report, Gareth Shaw, Which? head of money says: "If the shift away from cash is not handled carefully, there is a very serious risk that it will exclude a significant number of people who are not ready or able to take advantage of these payment methods.
“The cash network has already been severely damaged in recent years, particularly since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, because there has been no effective oversight to ensure the millions of people who still depend on it can still withdraw it. The government must move quickly with its plans to safeguard access to cash through legislation, to ensure that the system remains viable for as long as it is needed.”