Majority of UK adults cruising towards cashless payments
As the Bank of England mulls over whether to release a digital pound, one survey published by a mobile phone reseller reveals how close Britain is to becoming a cashless society.
The UK-wide survey – carried out by mobile phone reseller Buymobiles last month and published today – found that one in ten British consumers never withdraw cash, with half prepared to leave their homes with their smartphones to make purchases.
The survey interviewed 3000 adults between 20 and 80 and analysed data from both men and women in all regions of the UK.
The majority (70%) of UK adults said that they preferred using cashless payment methods such as contactless cards or Apple/Google Pay over physical tender, with a third only making physical withdrawals of cash once a month.
Most respondents (63%) cited those digital payments were favourable as they helped them keep track of their spending more effectively than cash did.
The survey also found that smartphone payments are on their way to becoming one of the preferred channels with which to buy over-the-counter goods.
Around 80% of respondents stated that they had at least one card stored on their smartphone to make payments and almost half said that they would leave their homes without cash and would be happy to rely on their mobiles for payment.
Interestingly iPhone users (51%) were found to be much more likely to leave the house without cash – compared to Samsung users (33%).
While there was very little disparity in attitudes by gender, there were regional divides. The Midlands city of Nottingham had the highest preference for cashless payments (87%) while residents living in West Yorkshire and Wakefield had the lowest, at just 20%.
One reason many central banks are considering introducing their own digital currencies (Central Bank Digital Currencies) is to add financial stability in an increasingly cashless economy.
A rapid decline in cash in Sweden’s economy inspired it to become the first major Western economy to officially launch a CBDC, the eKrona, last year, backed by the country’s central bank, Riksbank.
The Bank of England is currently one of 90 central banks around the world currently exploring whether digital currencies should be introduced – although its proposed currency (dubbed ‘Britcoin’) suffered a setback this January when a House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee warned that it would have “far-reaching consequences for households, businesses and the monetary system”.
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