Sales & Marketing

Britons move towards cashless society as card transactions soar

3 min read

27 October 2016

Former special projects journalist

How much do you know about payment services? Small businesses need to get on board to survive the new cashless trend.

People are carrying less cash in their wallets than ever before and embracing a cashless society, with the average Briton carrying less than £5 on a day-to-day basis.

The most common amount for people to have on them was found to between £1 and £5 (33 per cent) but the cashless society trend was stronger among young people and rose to 44 per cent among those aged 25 to 34.

This is according to a study by Mastercard, which found that 43 per cent keep less hard cash in their pockets than they did two years ago – making it more important than ever before for small businesses to be able to accept card and contactless payments.

In fact, the number of transactions made with cards has leapt by more than nine per cent each year since 2013, and last year there were 17bn transactions in the UK alone. On average, people have two payment cards in their wallets.

“We’re in the midst of a period of unprecedented change for payments,” said Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK and Ireland. “Cash usage is being buffeted by the dual forces of increased online expenditure and consumers embracing the convenience, speed and security of card and digital payments.

“This trend is also reducing the amount of cash businesses need to handle and process, which is time consuming and an often overlooked cost.”

For small businesses to remain competitive in an increasingly digital and cashless society, knowledge of the payments solutions on offer is becoming a necessity. We’d love to hear more from our readership on your understanding of the payments industry, so if you can spare a minute please take the (very short!) survey below:

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