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A third of Brits expect cash to be extinct by 2031


By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

April 25, 2016 | 3 min read

Over 20 millions British people believe cash will be a thing of the past within the next 15 years, according to a study by Starcom.

The report revealed that while many have reservations about relying less on physical money, some 73 per cent believe that they won’t have to carry cash at all within five years’ time. Instead, mobile payments and contactless services would be the norm.

Of the denominations to first suffer, the British public believe that the one penny coin will disappear first, followed by the two pence coin and the £50 note.

Pippa Glucklich, co-CEO at Starcom, said: “The way we spend, save, invest and earn is being disrupted by new technologies and innovations at a rapid pace. In fact, this survey shows that the vast majority of Brits believe cash will become obsolete, if not extinct, in the near future.

“This supports a wider trend we are consistently seeing where innovation around mobile wallets, wearable tech and biometric payments is fast transforming the traditional view and relationship between cash and shopping,” she added.

But despite the majority already accepting the move to digital, many have reservations about that it’ll mean for savings and spending. Some 57 per cent said they believe that technology is less secure than hard currency. There is also a strong concern over savings, with 49 per cent saying digital transactions are harder to track and people won’t realise how much they are spending.

Unsurprisingly, the respondents that were younger were more likely to be comfortable with digital transactions and people over 50 were more likely to agree with the concerns.

“Whilst there are many positives to a world without physical cash, issues around security and control are quite naturally front of mind for many of us. Unsurprisingly, in terms of age, Millenials will most easily adapt,” said Glucklich.

“All brands and businesses need to think about how they engage, inform and guide consumers through this transitional journey. Those at the forefront of embracing the technology on offer to make this transition will clearly have the edge,” she said.

The research was carried out using Starcom’s insights approach CulturePulse, with a sample size of 1,500 Brits.

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