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Take note – 20 million Brits believe cash will be extinct within 15 years / Starcom and CulturePulse

New research out today reveals that a third of Brits believe cash will be extinct within the next 15 years.

The study of 1,500 people by media agency Starcom also found that the vast majority of the nation expects the one penny coin to disappear first, followed by the two pence coin and the £50 note.

73% of the population do not expect to be using cash in five years’ time, with the nation moving towards contactless payments as well as mobile wallets and apps.

British men are more comfortable than women at the prospect of a cashless society, with 52% citing they are unconcerned about living in a cashless world, compared to only 39% of women.

Unsurprisingly, those aged 18-35 are far more relaxed about seeing the back of money, while half of Silver Surfers surveyed are concerned about going cashless.

There are regional differences, with those living in East Anglia and Northern Ireland are most concerned, while people in Scotland, Wales and London are most comfortable.

Cash in their pocket

The research further revealed that six in 10 Brits prefer having cash in their pocket and a similar level – 57% – believe that technology is less secure than hard currency, deemed an even more pertinent issue for the over 50s (64%) and those living in the East Midlands (70%).

Brits are also concerned that the consequences of a cashless world will mean a “lack of control of our finances and savings”, with 49% believing it would mean they won’t realise how much we are spending. Overall, a quarter of respondents said they “feel more secure and prepared when carrying cash”.

The study further reveals that Brits, on average, carry £20 of cash on them every day. The regional breakdown found that those living in the North East carry the most (£23) whilst those residing in Wales and the South West carry the least (£16). These numbers increase on the weekend, where on average, Brits carry with them £24 of cash.

Pippa Glucklich, co-CEO 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.

“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.

“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.”

The survey was carried out as part of a wider in-depth global research project by CulturePulse, Starcom’s proprietary approach to global consumer knowledge and insights, titled ‘The Future of Money’.