Moving towards a less-cash society

Moving towards a less-cash society

Stuart Haire, Managing Director RBS and NatWest Direct Bank talks trends in spending and reveals why he thinks we'll never be a completely cashless society.

Blog Author Image
Stuart Haire
MD Direct Bank

16 July 2015

Location plays a part in determining if you’re more likely to reach for plastic or flash some cash.

When you buy your shopping at the supermarket do you use cash or your debit or credit card? What about buying a pint of milk at the local shop? Or a train ticket at the station?

Increasingly people are choosing to use their cards over cash. Payments UK recently released data showing that for the first time ever more transactions were done using cards than cash in the UK. This data published also conveys the pace of change in the payments industry at the moment.

So why are we moving away from cash? Ease of payment is one of the key factors. There’s no rummaging in your purse or wallet for the correct change. Last year, spending using contactless cards trebled with over £2.3bn worth of transaction taking place in 2014.

Location also plays a part in determining if you’re more likely to reach for your plastic or flash some cash. In London, the contactless capital of the world, you can’t use cash on the bus network but you can use your contactless cards. Further afield the Danish government recently proposed that business such as clothing retailers, petrol stations and restaurants should no longer be legally-bound to accept cash.

This all supports the view that Apple Pay, launched in the UK yesterday, is a fantastic opportunity for the UK. It means you can pay for purchases costing under £20 using a compatible iPhone. With over 70% of the UK population owning a mobile phone, (58% of which are smart phones) that’s a huge potential market. Personally, I like using Apple Pay and contactless when I’m buying a coffee, my lunch and on the tube but I do still  believe there will always be room for cash – I can’t see the tooth fairy rewarding toothless children with her Apple Watch any time soon!

Posted In




Latest news

RBS to help 2.5 million people each year to be more financially capable

RBS has today committed to helping 2.5 million people in the UK each year to improve their financial capability.

RBS to increase lending to sustainable energy sector following £1.1bn securitisation of loans to UK sustainable energy market

RBS has executed a £1.1bn securitisation deal with Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS), which will allow the bank to recycle capital and increase lending to the sustainable or renewable energy sectors.

RBS launches £1 billion Female Entrepreneurship Funding and announces targets to help create at least 50k new businesses by 2023

RBS has today announced a new £1 billion in funding through NatWest to support female entrepreneurs in the UK to scale and grow – the largest intervention by a UK lender focused specifically on female-led businesses.

Set Tab for lightbox