Collaborative Post

The future of payment: Is cash becoming obsolete?

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While it might have seemed like a pretty far-flung concept even a decade ago, we’ve now reached an age where contactless payment is the rule rather than the exception. Granted in the last year this might have been spurred on in part by the coronavirus pandemic, but the fact remains – the days of cash being king are long behind us, particularly for younger users.

Photo by Christopher Bill on Unsplash

Payments in the UK

With Brexit and the pandemic to contend with, the payment market in the UK has been in a perpetual state of flux for the last few years now. One trend that has been really noticeable has been the increase in the eCommerce market. Indeed, around 87% of UK residents shopped online in 2019 and that was pre-pandemic. Mobile adoption has also been a massive trend, with 63% of UK shoppers using their smartphone apps to make purchases.

As far are how people are paying in the UK is concerned, meanwhile, it would appear that card payments are used for over half of all online purchases. In the ‘real world’, the same is also true, with cards overtaking cash for the first time officially in 2017. Those goalposts are growing even further apart by the day and with the contactless limit now expanded and other devices such as wearables to consider, it’s only the beginning of the revolution.

A technological transformation

One of the major technological advances in recent years has been the adoption of the so-called digital waller. The idea of keeping your finances together in one app has been made a lot easier by the introduction of the UK’s open banking initiative and while there are still some concerns when it comes to privacy, many agree that the conveniences of open banking outweigh the drawbacks.

In the coming months and years, meanwhile, there are even greater advances on the horizon. Biometric authentication, for example, is a trend that uses fingerprints or social recognition to make a payment. This technology is already being utilised in many of our smartphones and a great deal of use probably use the technology already without even thinking about it.

Cryptocurrency

Another nail in the coffin of cash is arguably the rise of cryptocurrency. Such is the power of this relatively new player on the global financial scene that it has been used to fund literal space programmes and is projected to overtake many major global currencies in popularity within the next few years. With the value of the pound and dollar in seemingly perpetual decline, maybe it’s the right time now to get all onboard with Dogecoin? It might have sounded daft a few years ago but in 2021, anything is possible!