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The death of cash?

5.4 million people across the UK, or 10% of consumers, according to UK Finance, have made no more than one payment with cash per month last year. Compare this to 2017, in which 3.4 million people rarely used cash, and it’s clear that cash’s role as the main form of transaction is quickly fading away. This is backed up by only 4% of the population, or 1.9 million people, confirming they still use cash as their main payment option.

Overall, cash payments made up only 28% of payments made in 2018 and based on recent statistics, this number is expected to drop to 10% in a decade from now. This can be seen as quite a drastic change when little more than a decade ago in 2008, cash still made up 60% of payments.

 

The Change In Payment Options

With more bank branches and cash machines closing as time goes on, those that still use cash as their main source of money are facing a definite problem. This hasn’t been overlooked, with UK Finance working with the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group (JACS) to assure cash will still be in steady supply to those who still use it.

One major factor in this change in dynamics would be public transport having implemented technology capable of reading contactless cards and increasing the limit of such payments to £30 in 2015.

The main form of payment nowadays is the debit card, it is having surpassed cash in 2017 and retained this position in 2018, making up 38% of last year’s total payments. They are even estimated to make up 50% of all payments by 2024. As for contactless cards, they made up 16% of consumer payments in 2017 and 21% in 2018, showing that they too are on the rise. As of now, 69% of UK adults use contactless cards.

 

Statistics And Rise

Some payment options tend to be more popular depending on factors of age or location. For instance, people living in the UK’s south-east and East Anglia mainly use contactless cards, while this is less common in the north-west. Contactless is now being increasingly favoured by older people, with them being the payment option of 50% of those over 65 years old in 2017 and rising to 61% by 2018.

Adults make an average of 11 contactless card payments each month, expected to rise to 24 per month by 2028. 48% of adults in the UK also use mobile banking online according to UK Finance’s Payment Markets report, a fair rise from 41% in 2017.

8.5 million people have been registered on mobile payment services such as Google Play as of the end of last year. This shows that the percentage of the population using such services have risen from 2% in 2016 to 16% as of now.

The percentages of each region’s amount of contactless card users according to UK Finance are:

 

  • South East and East Anglia, 72%
  • Midlands, 71%
  • London – 70%
  • Wales – 70%
  • Scotland – 69%
  • South West – 67%
  • North East and Yorkshire – 66%
  • Northern Ireland – 66%
  • North West, 58%

 

As for the average number of payments made by UK adults each month last year:

 

  • 28 card payments, 11 of which are contactless
  • 17 cash payments
  • 6 direct debit payments
  • 3 payments made with online/mobile banking
  • 8 standing orders
  • 3 cheques

 

Stephen Jones, the chief executive of UK Finance, cited the change in consumer mentality as the reason for this drastic boost in contactless payments, it mainly coming down to only choosing select options out of a variety for the most convenient experience.

“More and more customers are now opting for the speed and convenience of paying with their contactless cards, or using mobile banking to check their balances and make transfers while on the move.”

 

Cash’s Remaining Importance

Stephen Jones also cited the change in technological advancements as a major reason for the sudden rise, though admitted maintaining cash is still important due to the preference for it as an option amongst several groups.

The chief executive of ATM network Link, John Howells, placed emphasis on the importance of changing the distribution of cash to make it easier to access for all customers, hoping to aid it through the help of the industry and regulators.

Whilst the age of cash is fading, it still holds importance within the economy. The expansion of cards should be encouraged, whilst there should also be an easy access to cash as an alternative option.

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Pros and cons of a cashless society

In the current market, a cashless system is often promoted as the future of shopping- which it already is to some extent. A lot of countries are starting to adopt this slowly, with the intention of phasing out cash in the not too distant future. Here’s our list of things that are good and bad about it:

 

Why Go Cashless?

#1 – Crime Reduction

The phasing out of cash will eliminate a number of crimes involving money- think laundering, counterfeiting, bribery and the buying of things that would require untracked cash (from drugs to weapons). You’ll no longer have to have staff constantly counting money, and stores will be a lot less appealing to people for break-ins without cash in the till.

In fact, recent studies in the Access to Cash Review show that 36% of people consider cashless businesses an important part of reducing crime. Another statistic is from Paymentsense, in which 31% of business owners said that bringing in new technology for finances helped make them feel more secure about their business.

 

#2 – No Need For Banks

Going to the bank to deposit money can be quite the chore, especially if it’s far away. Many branches, especially in small villages, are disappearing one after the other. For example, the HSBC in the North Yorkshire village of Kirkbymoorside closed around two years ago and left the only option of withdrawing money through ATMs in local shops, forcing members to travel elsewhere.

Removing cash stops this problem, as it makes it a lot more convenient for users to live their daily lives without ever needing to take out money.

On the subject of finances, the cost of implementing credit services will lower after their use reaches a certain threshold, with the costs for most cashless businesses for their credit card payments only being 1% of the transaction.

 

#3 – It’s coming anyway

Compared to the good old exchange of cash, we’re now living in what the previous generation would see as a sci-fi pipe dream. Fingerprint and eye scans aren’t rare, tapping a card against a sensor is enough to make a payment and there is no sign of slowing when it comes to payment options.

 

Access to Cash Review has even said that current trends in e-commerce make 2026 the estimated year where cash’s use completely stops. In their most recent data, it’s been shown that cash only makes up 13% of rent payments, 10% for gas, electricity or water and 8% for TV licensing.

Meanwhile, cash makes up 86% of newspaper payments, and considering the outdated nature of this medium, it can be inferred that cash is the preference of the older generation. With that said, the fading away of cash will stay gradual and constant as time goes on, along with the switch to online news.

 

#4- It’s easier for tourists

No more converting! In a cashless world, people can just take their card travelling and won’t have to worry about losing a large percentage of your money every time you want to switch over.

 

#5- Stops using resources

Coins and notes are made out of a lot of materials, and we’d have a lot more copper, nickel and steel if we stopped production and melted down all our coins. Copper ranks as the third-most used industrial metal in the world after iron and aluminium, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), so it would be useful to not have to use so much on money.

 

Why Not To Go Cashless

#1 – Crime will always be a thing

On the flip side to what’s been mentioned, there are other forms of crime that will increase as cashless society becomes the norm, with shop-robbers being replaced with hackers. The data breaches in businesses have grown as they become less reliant on cash, with hacking also holding the risk of the leaking of personal information.

 

#2 – Potential problems for those with less access

Not everyone benefits from this system. Access to Cash has said that specifically 17% of the population will struggle when cash fades away from society. With cash machines closing down at around 300 per month, those who don’t have a bank account, or the internet, may find it increasingly difficult to live as they did normally.

It’s been found that cash can help poorer people organise budgeting better, and generally offer them peace of mind. On top of that, over 1.3 million people in the UK don’t have a bank account, particularly those in the teenage range and below. This is a thing that needs to change if we’re ever going to make the transition to cash-free.

 

#3 – Blackouts

Blackouts aren’t hugely often in the grand scheme of things, but still occur somewhere in the world once a day on average. This is a big issue in a cashless society, because it would mean nobody would have access to their funds.

For the many small businesses in rural areas, an untimely blackout could mean closing your business down for a brief amount of time, which is a pretty big reason to think about system stability before going completely cashless. That being said, things like this are bound to happen and usually get solved quickly.

 

#4 – Other teething problems

Without cash, there doesn’t seem to be a widely accepted way to tip service workers yet, but some companies do this well- like Uber giving you an option to add a tip while paying on the app. Charity boxes are also something that will have to evolve too, but there are already card accepting ones being created.

 

Conclusion – Which Is Best?

There aren’t any completely cashless countries yet, but this is changing, and we can find out the answer to this question properly over time, starting in Sweden. Both sides have many pros and cons, but I would say cashless sounds better in theory. However, we’ll see!

 

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America Catching On With Contactless

To many, the global superpower that is the United States can seem like the trendsetter that the rest of the world follows. In terms of how they pay for things, however, it is pretty far behind Europe and Asia. A study available here by A.T. Kearney last year showed that only 3% of US cards are contactless, compared to the UK’s 64% and South Korea’s 96%.

 

Why America is lagging behind

The faster alternative to chip and PIN, that only requires tapping it on a checkout terminal for the transaction, haven’t taken over the US mainly due to the size of the market. It is far easier to make changes to a comparatively small country like the UK compared to one of the world’s largest countries that has a far vaster amount of different retail stores and banks. The method of introduction also played a key part in this difference. Almost five years ago, when the UK first introduced contactless cards to the public, it was done through the popular travel option of public transport. Three years later, the number of contactless cards in the UK had already reached 119 million, accounting for 78% of debit cards and 62% of credit cards in use based on UK Finance statistics.

 

By contrast, the US don’t even use a regular credit card for public transport most of the time. In fact, chip and PIN could even be seen as a work in progress in America with how many retailers are just getting used to it, so contactless is clearly not held in high regards over the pond. Despite this, chip and PIN is growing more accepted over time, with retailers who don’t install chip technology to prevent fraud being held accountable as of 2015.

 

This has a silver lining, however, as it’ll make the transition towards the contactless system far easier for America. Most of the new card readers installed after the 2015 changes already have contactless technology built into them, giving Americans the option if they don’t trust it.

Last year, J.P. Morgan expressed desires to provide millions of contactless cards to customers and by the end of this year, Visa hopes the number of contactless cards in the US to have reached 100 million.

 

Whilst that seems like an overly ambitious goal for some, it’s what many banks and card issuers will be striving toward, as A.T. Kearney has already estimated banks could make a $2.4 billion profit from card earnings across the next five years by introducing contactless cards as a widespread system.

Research has also shown most contactless card payments will be used for mundane things such as grocery shopping, fast-food and clinic payments, as many people will want to pay for these generic tasks quickly and conveniently. That’s the way it is here due to our £30 limit on contactless payments to eliminate fraud- and the US may implement a similar policy.

 

Credit Cards in the US

Two years ago, the payments from all types of cards in the US (other than contactless), amounted to $6.6 trillion according to the Federal Reserve. Whilst this may seem like a giant amount, analysts believe it could be far greater if payment options such as contactless became popular in the country’s market.

 

A big bite for Apple

Beyond the banks and card issuers, there’s another party benefiting from the increase of contactless cards coming to America; the tech giant Apple. The payment service ApplePay acts as a contactless payment option for iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac, and they’d reap the rewards of a contactless-loving USA.

 

Why Americans are scared of contactless

No option is ever perfect, as many worry about the security of contactless options. Despite evidence from financial experts presenting it as every bit as secure as chip and PIN, the public’s natural scepticism of new ideas have caused many to worry about the safety of this option.

Contrary to this belief, however, contactless cards have far less chance of counterfeit problems due to the chips placed into them, making them an even safer option. On top of this, creating a maximum spend on contactless would stop people from stealing a card and emptying a bank account quickly.

Despite the fear some have of contactless cards in America, they are on the rise now and will only continue to grow. The US has started moving towards the cashless society the rest of the world is nearing, and contactless will be the figurehead of that.

 

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How will the homeless survive in a cashless society?

In less than ten years time it is estimated that only one in four payments will made by cash.

Although it might feel to some like we have reached that point already, it will mark a dramatic shift from the current status quo when around half of all payments are made by notes or coins.

But while the shift to a cash free existence might feel like an inevitability, there are people on the fringes of society who are so reliant on it, that a life without it almost seems like an impossibility.

Yet, there is a growing awareness amongst the homeless and those that support them that action needs to be taken now so they are ready when the time comes.

For those with no fixed abode there are a huge array of different hurdles that need to be jumped in order for them live a life not wholly reliant on cash.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Two homeless men sleep near Trafalgar Square on January 27, 2016 in London, England. A group of 21 charities, including Crisis, St Mungos and Centrepoint, have called for extra effort by the next London Mayor to help end the growing problem of homelessness on Londons streets. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Only 1 in 4 payments will involve cash by 2025 (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Take setting up a bank account, for instance.

It seems tough enough when you have a permanent address, proof of other credit facilities and ID.

But when you don’t it becomes a whole lot harder.

And that is why charities like St Mungo’s and the Big Issue Foundation (the charitable arm of the Big Issue) are working hard to help as many people as possible gain access to the things we take for granted.

Around one in four of St Mungo’s clients dont have a bank account, many having only dealt with cash before.

(Picture: iZettle)

The Bis Issue is amongst those looking alternative payment methods (Picture: iZettle)

David Fisher, the charity’s executive director of services, said setting up bank accounts and other services, like phone contracts, can be difficult without a permanent address.

He added: ‘It’s important that people who may be homeless or vulnerable aren’t left behind when it comes to living in an ever evolving and innovative society.’

Paul McNamee, who is the editor of the Big Issue magazine, told metro.co.uk it is also working with its vendors to ensure they have the facilities they need.

‘We haven’t necessarily noticed a negative impact on our sales because of the move to cashless,’ he said.

‘But we know that’s going to come which is why this is something we are looking to get ahead of.’

He explained discussions are ongoing with banks to ensure people selling the Big Issue will be able to take both contactless and cash payments.

‘Because it’s essentially a cash environment our vendors work in, we’ve also had to consider how they will be able to cash up because they are leading lives that are pretty hand to mouth some of the time,’ he continued.

‘We are working with vendors to enable to them do those things. To help them get ID, whether that’s tracing back to help them get a National Insurance number, helping them getting ID or passports.’

(Picture: Simon Mott)

Simon Mott is the first Big issue vendor to take cashless payments in the country (Picture: Simon Mott)

The magazine has been trialling cashless methods of payment in a number of different locations across the country.

But there is one vendor, who pioneered the method off his own back and has been reaping the benefits ever since.

Simon Mott first invested in a chip and pin device through Swedish company iZettle a few years ago.

The 52-year-old, who sells the Big Issue outside South Kensington Tube station, spent £59 on the initial device but now takes around £500 a year in chip and pin, contactless and Apple Pay transactions.

‘I wouldn’t have seen that money if it wasn’t for the card reader,’ he told metro.co.uk.

(Picture: iZettle)

He estimates he takes around £500 a year in cash free transactions (Picture: iZettle)

He said the investment was a reaction to what he realised was a growing issue.

‘People say to me I’d like to buy the magazine but I don’t have money on me,’ he continued.

‘In the past it might have been a polite put down, when nowadays it’s actually true, they haven’t got any money or change.’

Simon said one noticeable difference about taking card payments, is that the money does not go in to his pocket instantaneously. And he thinks that’s a good thing.

‘You don’t have access to those funds immediately, it might be a couple of days  before it goes in to your bank account,’ Simon added.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Bedding belonging to a homeless person lies under a railway bridge on August 4, 2015 in London, England. Income inequality in the United Kingdom is higher than many other developed countries with a 2014 report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies claiming that around 23% of Britons were now in relative poverty. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

(Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images)

‘You don’t have the money to spend and waste it. It encourages the forethought of managing your money in a better way really

‘I think things are going to have to change.

‘This isn’t just from the Big Issue’s point of view but from that of other homeless people begging on the streets, if people don’t change then they are going to suffer as well.’

 


Meyjes, T. (2016) How will the homeless survive in a cashless society? Available at: http://metro.co.uk/2016/06/10/how-will-the-homeless-survive-in-a-cashless-society-5936662/ (Accessed: 29 June 2016).

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Is your business prepared for the cashless economy?

The UK is on the fast track to being cash-free, but are our small and medium businesses ready?

The pounds in your pocket are destined for the museum display cabinets. This is according to new research by trade association, Payments UK, who predict that debit card and contactless payment use will overtake cash transactions by 2021 after finding that cash transactions accounted for less than half of consumer payments for the first time in 2015.

There’s no doubt that contactless technology has transformed consumer buying, and with Apple and Android Pay now available, it’s clear that the days of counting out coppers for a pint of milk and a Mars bar will soon be over.

Who has the least cash?

Citigroup and London’s Imperial College latest Digital Money Index indicates that the UK has begun to sprint ahead in the global race to becoming a cashless society after rising from 7th to 4th place in the list of countries that are most ‘digital ready’. Finland topped the list as the most digital-ready country for the third consecutive year, with Singapore and the US following behind in second and third place respectively.

Finland’s continued position as a digital leader is unsurprising considering their strong investment in digital infrastructure. Fixed broadband is available to 97 per cent of Finnish homes; this combined with affordability has helped Finland become one of the most tech savvy nations, with 91 per cent of the population being regular internet users. Furthermore, according to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Finland has one of the highest shares of eGovernment users and users of eHealth services in Europe. The Finnish government’s integration of digital and public services has further embedded digital processes into everyday life, meaning that digital payment is just another aspect of efficient modern living.

Contactless: the consumer’s choice

The rapid change in the UK’s payment habits can largely be attributed to big brands’ early adoption of contactless. In 2014 Tesco updated all 6,000 of their payment terminals in London to accept contactless payment, they announced that this would save 6 seconds for every customer that used it. For a consumer that is often time poor, 6 seconds less spent in a queue is 6 seconds less stress but more importantly for Tesco it speeds up customer service which enhances the customer experience.

However, contactless payment hasn’t always been hailed as a hero. Transport for London’s (TFL) announcement that its buses would go cashless in 2014 was initially met with scepticism. Nonetheless, since TFL has rolled out contactless across its network, more than 400 million journeys have been made using credit or debit cards or a mobile device, revealing that contactless is an option that offers consumers more, not less choice.
While Tesco and TFL helped lead the way in implementing wave and pay into our everyday lives, the increase in the contactless spend limit from £20 to £30 further pushed contactless mainstream by boosting retailer opportunities and encouraging a wider range of merchants to adapt their payment systems. In 2016, from petrol stations to pubs, consumers can go about their daily lives without having to enter their pin.
Contactless may have won London over first, but a recent study by Barclaycard found that contactless is growing fastest in Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff. Furthermore, the study also revealed that the over 60’s, the group often deemed as ‘technophobes’, are the fastest growing adopters of contactless card payments. The popularity of contactless across generations offers further evidence that wave and pay is here to stay as more consumers look to utilise new technology that will allow them to make safer, more convenient payments.

Better for business

The swift infiltration of contactless into our everyday lives has certainly raised customer expectations of the pace and ease of service, meaning that businesses not offering customers the payment options they expect, risk undermining their reputation by appearing out of touch.
However, the new way to pay offers considerable benefits to businesses too. Sage Pay’s Payments Landscape Report 2015, found that annual cash handling costs, including allowance for fraud and theft, set UK retailers back more than £3,600 on average. By offering cashless payment options, businesses will benefit hugely from reduced cash handling costs. While digital payments are not completely free from fraud, the risk is significantly lower. Figures from the UK Cards Association show that in the first six months of 2015, fraudulent transactions were equivalent to only 2p for every £100 spent using contactless functionality.

In addition to speedier, safer transactions, digital payments also open up the possibility of integrated reward programmes and location-based marketing. Tapping into these smartphone capabilities will allow businesses to use customer data to deliver tailored marketing campaigns, enhancing customer experience and encouraging loyalty.

While the question of whether the UK will turn completely cashless remains debatable, there’s no doubt that paying for a latte with a quick swish of your wrist has become so commonplace that digging deep in your purse for cash feels like an archaic practice. Whether you’re a high street store, independent coffee shop or a local newsagent, consumers now expect to be able to pay with lightning speed. Cashless is coming, make sure you’re prepared.

 


Growth Business UK. 2016. Is your business prepared for the cashless economy?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/comment-and-analysis/2532811/is-your-business-prepared-for-the-cashless-economy.thtml. [Accessed 24 June 2016].

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Sweden leads the race to become cashless society

In 1661, Stockholms Banco, the precursor to the Swedish central bank, issued Europe’s first banknotes, on thick watermarked paper bearing the bank’s seal and eight handwritten signatures.

Last year – as Britain did last week – Sweden launched a new series of notes, cheery affairs featuring 20th-century Swedish cultural giants such as Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, Greta Garbo and filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. But like its Nordic neighbours Norway, Denmark and Finland, Sweden is fast becoming an almost entirely cashless society.

“I don’t use cash any more, for anything,” said Louise Henriksson, 26, a teaching assistant. “You just don’t need it. Shops don’t want it; lots of banks don’t even have it. Even for a candy bar or a paper, you use a card or phone.”

Swedish buses have not taken cash for years, it is impossible to buy a ticket on the Stockholm metro with cash, retailers are legally entitled to refuse coins and notes, and street vendors – and even churches – increasingly prefer card or phone payments.

According to central bank the Riksbank, cash transactions made up barely 2% of the value of all payments made in Sweden last year – a figure some see dropping to 0.5% by 2020. In shops, cash is now used for barely 20% of transactions, half the number five years ago, and way below the global average of 75%.

And astonishingly, about 900 of Sweden’s 1,600 bank branches no longer keep cash on hand or take cash deposits – and many, especially in rural areas, no longer have ATMs. Circulation of Swedish krona has fallen from around 106bn in 2009 to 80bn last year.

“I think, in practice, Sweden will pretty much be a cashless society within about five years,” said Niklas Arvidsson, an associate professor specialising in payment systems innovation at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

A shopping mall in Stockholm. Cash is used for only about a fifth of all transactions in shops. Photograph: Frank Chmura/Alamy

Arvidsson argues that the country’s head start in the field began in the 1960s, when banks persuaded employers and workers to use digital bank transfers for wages as a matter of course, with credit and debit cards receiving a boost in the 1990s when Sweden’s banks started charging for cheques.

Cards are now the main form of payment: according to Visa, Swedes use them more than three times as often as the average European, making an average of 207 payments per card in 2015.

More recently, mobile phone apps have also taken off in spectacular fashion. Swish, a hugely popular app developed jointly with the major banks including Nordea, Handelsbanken, SEB, Danske Bank and Swedbank, uses phone numbers to allow anyone with a smartphone to transfer money from one bank account to another in real time.

“Swish has pretty much killed cash for most people, as far as person-to-person payments are concerned,” said Arvidsson. “It has the same features as a cash payment – real-time clearing, the same as handing over a banknote. And it’s now making inroads into payments to businesses, too.”

Adopted by nearly half the Swedish population, Swish is now used to make more than 9 million payments a month. (A similar Danish app, MobilePay, was used by over 3 million Danes – in a country of 5.6 million – to make some 90 million transactions last year.)

Street salesmen, from hotdog vendors to homeless magazine sellers, have enthusiastically adopted iZettle, a cheap and easy Swedish system designed to allow sole traders and small businesses take card payments via an app and mini card-reader plugged into their phones, with many reporting sales increases of up to 30%.

Even Swedish churches have adapted, displaying their phone numbers at the end of each service and asking parishioners to use Swish to drop their contribution into the virtual Sunday collection. One Stockholm church said last year only 15% of its donations were in cash; the remainder were all by phone.

There are, obviously, concerns: cases of electronic fraud have more than doubled in the past decade and several critics – including the inventor of iZettle, Jacob de Greer – have asked whether an entirely electronic system in which every single payment is recorded is not a threat to privacy.

Old people’s organisations also fear that those who prefer cash, out of a reluctance to use new technology or simply because they find it easier to keep track of their spending, will be disadvantaged, while educators worry that young people will be tempted to spend money they do not have.

For these and other social reasons, Arvidsson said, cash is not dead quite yet. “Even if, in the next few years, Swedes use almost no cash at all, going 100% cashless needs a political decision,” he said.“The idea of cash, even in Sweden, remains very strong.”

 


Henley, J. (2016) Sweden leads the race to become cashless society. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/04/sweden-cashless-society-cards-phone-apps-leading-europe (Accessed: 17 June 2016).

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Millions of travellers could be stranded under plans for every bus in Britain to go “cashless”

Millions of passengers across Britain could be left stranded under plans for every bus in Britain to go cashless despite widespread security fears over contactless technology.

Major UK bus operators including Arriva, Stagecoach and National Express are working with the Government and transport authorities to introduce “tap-and-pay” technology on every bus in Britain by 2022, potentially eradicating the need for coins and notes.

Busses in Scotland and Northern cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield are looking to copy London busses which do not allow travellers to pay by cash onboard, according to plans outlined in a major report by the UK Cards Association, a body which represents the payments industry.

Transport for North, which represents bus operators across the North, said it is receiving £150m in funding from the Treasury as part of the plans to build the “Northern Powerhouse” and help roll out a modern payment system across its travel network.

A National Express coach.

A National Express coach. CREDIT: ALAMY

But this week consumer group Which? revealed that nearly half of contactless cardholders are avoiding making tap-and-go payments as many are afraid it makes them vulnerable to fraud. Which? said that despite nine in ten of its members owning a card with a contactless option, 40pc of them had not used it for at least 12 months, opting instead to pay via chip-and-pin.

The mass rebellion against contactless technology comes as millions of banking customers have found themselves in possession of the cards without requesting them.  In addition thousands of shops, bars and restaurants have adopted contactless payment methods and EU rules mean that by 2020 it will be compulsory for all parking machines to offer tap-and-go payments.

cards

Some banks will only issue you with a non-contactless card if you have a disability CREDIT: ALAMY

Partly because of the diminishing need for people to carry coins, nearly four in every five pounds (78.5pc) spent in UK shops is now made through debit and credit cards, according to figures from the UK Cards Association.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “We are paving the way for seamless travel between bus, rail, ferry and subway. Smart ticketing will be made available to around three quarters of the Scottish population over the course of 2016/2017.”

A spokesman for National Express said:”We are currently in the process of procuring new ticket machines for all our buses. These will have the ability to accept contactless payments from bank cards. We plan to start rolling out these machines on our buses from early 2017. Once all the buses are equipped with the new technology, we will be able to start accepting contactless bank card payments.”

bus travel in kent 

A spokesman for the UK Cards Association said: “We’ve been speaking to the bus companies and they have been integral to the process. We’re not saying this [contactless] is the only answer, it’s about providing options for an increasingly mobile population/workforce.”

 


Morley, K. (2016) Millions of travellers could be stranded under plans for every bus in Britain to go. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/22/millions-of-travellers-could-be-stranded-under-plans-for-every-b/ (Accessed: 12 May 2016).