More than two in five people (43 per cent) say they keep less hard cash in their pockets than they did two years ago, according to a new study.
The study by Mastercard found that half of adults in Britain now carry less than £5 in cash in their purses or wallets amid a surge in popularity for online shopping and contactless card payments.
Just 7 per cent of those surveyed carry more than £50 in cash on them. “We’re in the midst of a period of unprecedented change for payments,” said Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard UK and Ireland. “Cash usage is being buffeted by the dual forces of increased online expenditure and consumers embracing the convenience, speed and security of card and digital payments.
“This trend is also reducing the amount of cash businesses need to handle and process, which is time consuming and an often overlooked cost.”
The findings comes amid a push by banks and some larger stores for people to use “tap and pay” cards rather than the more costly and cumbersome notes and coins.
Technology giants like Apple, Google and Samsung have also added to the demise of cash in recent years by allowing customers to pay for their bus fares, coffee and groceries with their smartphones and wearable technology devices.
The number of transactions made with cards has leapt by more than 9 per cent each year since 2013, totalling 17 billion transactions in the UK last year.
The average wallet/purse in Britain contains:
• 2 x debit/credit cards
• Less than £5 in cash
• 1 x driving licence
• 2 x membership cards
• 2 x entry/pass cards
• 2 x travel cards/tickets
• 4 x loyalty cards
• 3 x money off coupons
• 3 x business cards
• 2 x photographs
• 2 x keepsakes/lucky charms
• 4 x old receipts
• 2 x expired coupons
• 2 x useless handwritten notes
• 3 x expired or unused membership/certification/identity cards
• 6 x pieces of unneeded foreign currency
• 2 x business cards of people never contacted
• 2 x expired travel tickets