In its latest salvo against notes and coins, MasterCard has posted research showing that 44% of Brits would ditch cash altogether if card payments were accepted everywhere.
Of 2000 people polled, 62% say that they now prefer to pay electronically than with cash and 69% say they already use e-payments more often than notes and coins.
Those aged 25 to 34 are most keen to stop using cash, with 62% saying they would pay only with card if it was universally accepted. More than half (53%) of people aged 16 to 24, and from 35 to 44, felt the same.
Security is a factor for many when it comes to their choice of payment method, with two in five uncomfortable carrying cash for fear of losing it or having it stolen, whereas misplaced or stolen cards can be cancelled.
Cards have become so ubiquitous that 38% say they feel inconvenienced when a shop does not accept them. Well over a quarter are surprised and one in five are even annoyed, with younger generations most likely to be frustrated. A further 20% avoid or walk out of shops and restaurants when they realise that they don’t accept card payments.
A quarter of consumers think cash will cease to exist within their lifetime – rising to two in five among those aged 25 to 34.
Yet, while Brits – and MasterCard – may be keen to see the back of cash, the hard data does not suggest that physical money is on the way out.
Just this week the Bank of England noted that the amount of cash circulating in the UK economy is twice the level of a decade ago, with the much hyped growth in contactless cards and mobile P2P making little headway in reducing the amount of notes and coins in people’s pockets.