Mobile banking and contactless cards lead to cashless society, says report

By Roger Baird on Friday 7 June 2019

Digital Banking

Contactless payments jumped by 31 per cent to 7.4 billion payments last year, according to a survey by UK Finance.

Mobile banking and contactless cards lead to cashless society, says report
Image source: Photo by from Pexels

Jumps in mobile banking and contactless payments last year continue to push Britain towards a cashless society, said a new report.

Almost half of UK adults used mobile banking in 2018, or 48 per cent, which is up from 41 per cent in the previous year, according to a survey by banking lobby group UK Finance.

Contactless payments accounted for 7.4 billion payments last, an increase of 31 per cent in 2017. In total Britions made 39.3 billion payments last year.

UK Finance chief executive Stephen Jones said: “The same ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ approach people now take when it comes to music, television or the news is expanding into payments, as consumers take advantage of new technologies to pay in a way that suits them.”


Mobile moves

The number of bank payments made using online or mobile banking in 2018 grew to two billion, up from 1.6 billion in 2017, as people increasingly bank using computers and mobile devices.

By the end of 2018, an estimated 8.5 million people were registered to buy goods and services using mobile payment services such as Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. This means that 16 per cent of adults are now registered for mobile payment services, up from just two per cent in 2016, said the report called UK Payments Market 2019.

Debit cards took over from cash as the most popular form of payment in the UK two years ago, and in 2018 accounted for 40 per cent of all payments.


Debit dominance

Ninety-eight per cent of adults own a debit card, and by 2024 debit cards are forecast to account for half of all payments in the country.

Cash remains the second most frequently used payment method in the country. It was used for 28 per cent of payments in 2018 and is forecast to still be used for one in ten payments in a decade’s time.

However, the report said the growth in contactless and mobile payments means shoppers are choosing to pay less with cash, with overall cash payments falling by 16 per cent in 2018 and one in ten adults, or 5.4 million shoppers, opting to “live a largely cashless life”.


How to spend it - life in a cashless society

The average number of payments made each month by the average adult last year was:


  • 28 card payments, of which 11 were contactless

  • 17 cash payments

  • 6 Direct Debits

  • 1.3 payments via online banking or mobile banking

  • 0.8 standing orders

  • 0.3 cheques

Source: UK Payments Market 2019

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