Close up of cards in a wallet.

Will Card and Contactless Payments Replace Cash?

It is often said that cash is a faster, easier and more convenient way of completing a transaction when you compare it to card payments. When you look at a cash transaction, it takes roughly 30 seconds to complete, including the time taken to take the money out of your wallet and place your change back into it.

But what about contactless payments? Thanks to advancements in EPoS software and hardware, it only takes around five seconds to take your card from your wallet, tap it on the terminal and put it back into your wallet.

Consumers are looking for transactions to be completed as quickly and smoothly as possible, which is what contactless payments offer; but will card and contactless payments replace cash transactions?

The U.K. and Australia have reported reductions in cash usage by 12% and 16% respectively following the introduction of the contactless transaction. Other figures show that contactless now accounts for a third of all transactions, which is up from 10% as recently as October 2015.

For many years, cards have accounted for the majority of retail spend by value, but it was 2016 when they surpassed 50% of all transactions and the first time that debit cards have overtaken cash; circumstances that have most likely been influenced by the ease of contactless payments. In contrast, cash (notes and coins) fell by nearly five percent and made up 42.3% of all retail transactions.

With more than 108m contactless cards in issue in the UK – a figure that continues to grow – consumers are clearly taking contactless payments in their stride. Businesses are also starting to take notice, with more than two-thirds of staffed payment terminals in shops now able to accept contactless cards, a figure which is up from less than half a year ago.

Whether card and contactless payments will render cash obsolete in the UK is yet to be seen. It has the potential, but Sweden is expected to become the world’s first truly cashless society. A study by Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology has predicted that cash could no longer be used there by 2030.

If your business is yet to adjustment to contactless payments, it is certainly something that should be looked at in the not too distance future, as it doesn’t look to be slowing up anytime soon!