Trips to cash machines were once a daily or weekly event for many, but now ATM withdrawals are becoming monthly occurrences, a survey has found.
One in five people now only take cash from a bank once a month as their reliance on coins and notes fades, and cards and contactless payments take over.
Research by Nationwide building society has shown nearly one in 10 Britons no longer regularly carries any loose change in their wallet, with men more likely to refuse to carry cash than women.
This is because they prefer to pay by “tap and go” contactless payment technology, which has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years.
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It is now possible to pay by contactless card or Apple Pay in most outlets, as even small shops, market stalls, vending machines and public transport including busses and trains, have been adopting the technology.
The future role of cash in British society has divided experts, with some insisting coins are here to stay, despite the overwhelming trend towards contactless payments.
Earlier this year Royal Mint dismissed accusations that contactless payments will soon render cash obsolete, saying cash remained the currency option the general public turns to for “confidence, convenience and security”.
However experts at Co-op bank say an “incredible” growth in contactless payments via mobile phones will outstrip cash within ten years.
Nearly two-thirds (63pc) of respondents to Nationwide’s survey said that other than their regular bills, they usually pay for items using their card or contactless technology.
In September 2015, the transaction limit for making a single payment using a contactless card was increased by £10 to £30, making it an increasingly handy alternative to cash. But despite new ways to pay, Nationwide’s survey also found cash is often still the best option in some situations.
For example one in three (33pc) people have had to pay with cash on occasion because cards were not accepted or technology was temporarily broken. When asked how often they take cash from an ATM, one in four said they do so weekly, one in five (22pc) do so fortnightly and a slightly lower number (18pc) do so monthly.
Researchers also found women are more likely to carry reward cards, money off vouchers, receipts and stamps in their wallet than men. Some 2pc of people across the survey also said they carry Pins in their wallet – which could make them an easier target for fraudsters if their Pin and their corresponding card are being kept together.
Jane Tully, director of external affairs at the Money Advice Trust, a money charity, said: “There’s no doubt that contactless payments are making life easier for millions of consumers – and with payments surging at such a rate, it’s probably too early to say what the long term impact on spending habits and financial behaviour will be.
“There could also be plenty of opportunities to use this technology to help people in financial difficulty – detecting the signs of financial problems and delivering timely interventions that could help. We shouldn’t forget, however, that for many households, cash is still an essential budgeting tool.”
News Source TelegraphNews