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Is contactless making us cashless?

By Dan Wilson March 13, 2017 - 12:34 pm

Last week the bank provided me with my first contactless card. Initially I was entirely unmoved by this. But in the few days since I’ve had it, I’ve noticed that I’ve been using cash much less and relying on the tap and pay technology for the vast majority of transactions I make.

At the pub, supermarket, and just about everywhere, I’ve been paying using contactless. And even in such a short time, I’ve started to find it irksome that some establishments don’t have the contactless technology in place.

In particular, the most convenient aspect of contactless I’ve encountered so far, was using the Tube in London. I didn’t need a ticket or even an Oyster card, I just tapped in and out with my contactless card and that garnered me the most attractive fare available saving both time and money.

There are trends globally that reflect how increasingly some economies are becoming cashless. In Korea, 80% of consumer spending is made on cards. In Sweden it’s predicted by academics that the country will be cashless by 2020. There small traders there have adopted services like Swish and iZettle and even churches are in on the game. Churches now display a donation phone number at the end of services and increasingly the cash is coming in digitally and not in the plate.

I’m still slightly concerned about the security problems if I were to lose it. Someone could have a reasonably good time, even under the spending limits of £30, in a short time. I haven’t yet clarified how the bank will deal with that. Maybe you know from experience?

But a move towards a cashless economy has benefits as well as disappointments. I’m worried that some people will be excluded and more than a million Brits are still ‘unbanked’. But the trend becomes a clear one: we seem to be using cash less as a nation.

  • Jonww
    4 months ago

    What happens when the IT systems and Internet fail due to solar storms etc. Very likely events or cyber terrorism. Also yes the security aspect is poor.. Personally do not use.

  • Rich
    4 months ago

    Way behind the times 😀 I find having the card details on android pay on your phone even better as it is easier to get out of the pocket rather than having to go through the wallet to get the card out and pay.

  • 4 months ago

    As Rich says Android Pay is the way to go, I even got my hairdressers set up to take cards on a contactless Paypal card reader and I now pay using my phone, just hold your phone to the contactless card device. My phone is protected with my fingerprint and the card details left to the retailer are different from my own also. Payment is transferred to the retailer same day but it takes a day or so to leave my account.

    So security wise Android Pay is the best way to go, now pub meals, shopping as well as my hair is paid using this and no, I never have any cash on me anymore :-D

  • David
    4 months ago

    I’ve not carried cash for several years now, not even a fiver in my wallet. Then at the beginning of this year I started to use Android pay and its so easy, I now find I’m spending a lot more money on little things I wouldn’t have bothered with before!

  • 4 months ago

    I had to check this wasn’t a 5 year old article accidentally reposted, you bumpkin Dan.

    • 4 months ago

      I kid you not: only just got contactless. ;)

  • northumbrian
    4 months ago

    Royal mint are producing 3 million of the new £1 coins a day that will be issued in the next few weeks,
    anyone who feels the need to not use this cash we are happy to take it off their hands and spend it

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