Millions at risk of being left behind by a cashless society

14th November 2019

According to the latest research, cash usage is declining throughout the world, with credit/debit cards, bank transfers and eWallets becoming the most popular method of payment during the last year.

The increase in the use of contactless payments systems has also contributed significantly to the decline of cash use as more people embrace the use of technology.

Global Payment Methods collated official reports to reveal the potential societal repercussions of digital exclusivity, whereby coins, banknotes and cheques are replaced by eWallets, cryptocurrencies and bank cards.

The analysis found that 8.1 million people in the UK are at risk of digital exclusion through their reliance on cash and physical payment methods.

This includes 5.2 million households, 1.3 million people without bank accounts, 320,000 people living rough, people in elderly homes and more than one million people with physical or mental illnesses.

The rise in alternative payment methods has also led to a decline in ATMs, with the number in the UK dropping by more than 4,000 between January 2018 and July 2019 alone.

Additional analysis by ATM network Link which indicates 259 communities across the UK have poor cashpoint provision or no cashpoints at all, meaning that some communities are struggling to access cash altogether.

As technology continues to develop and the demand for flexible methods of payments increase the level of cash payments will continue to decrease, with experts predicting that less than one in ten payments will be made by cash in ten years’ time.