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UK expects to be nearly cashless by 2024 as use of digital payments accelerates

Mobile payment is part of the new paradigm of payments

The use of cash in the UK has significantly reduced, with the COVID-19 pandemic fuelling a shift in consumer payment preferences.

The 2021 Global Payments Report, by Worldpay from FIS projects that by 2024, cash will account for just 7% of in-store purchases in the U.K., down from 27% of in-store payment transactions in 2019. The 1202report found that cash usage for in-store purchases in the country declined from 27% in 2019 to just 13% of total purchases last year.

Pete Wickes, General Manager, EMEA, Worldpay from FIS explains: “This research shows the speed and scale of the transformation in consumer behavior in just 12 months. The decline in the use of cash in the UK has accelerated, and while this opens up new opportunities for businesses to optimize and drive efficiencies, we need to be mindful that important parts of the economy continue to rely on cash, such as charity donations and restaurant tip jars, while there are many in society who remain underbanked. Fintechs and regulators need to collaborate to build new frameworks that allow for this shift and use technology to boost financial inclusion especially for those underserved communities.”

The Worldpay Global Payments Report, which examines current and future payments trends across 41 countries, found that digital commerce accelerated globally under the pandemic. Across all countries studied, cash usage dropped by 10% in 2020 to 20% of transactions. The 2021 report predicts that many European countries, including Denmark, Norway and Sweden, will be almost  cashless by 2024, and that the growth of non-cash payment methods will be primarily split between cards and mobile payments, with mobile payments expected to comprise a third of the POS market in 2024.

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