New ways for paying for things without cash are changing the way we live our lives. In London alone, up to 10,000 people swipe their plastic every day to pay for their bus fare. And there are plenty of shops which accept card payments for the smallest items.
So it’s not surprising that we're carrying less cash in our pockets. When we asked people if they had money on them right now*, 6% said no – which works out to around 3 million people across the UK.
And it’s the young who are more likely to prefer plastic to notes and coins. Of the 18-24 year-olds that we questioned, 9% had no cash on them, compared with just 1% of those aged 55 to 64.
Why are we carrying less cash?
If you think about it, what do you really need pounds and pence for? There are fewer and fewer places where you can’t pay with a debit or credit card these days. In fact, using cards for everyday items is becoming so popular that some people believe we are moving towards what's known as a 'cashless society'. And it’s all happening really quickly. It would have been hard to imagine such a situation just ten years ago.
New ways to pay
And it’s not just plastic that is in fashion. Increasing numbers of businesses are offering customers the chance to pay for things with their mobile phones. New technologies are being developed which basically turn your phone into a digital wallet or 'e-wallet'. This clever equipment speeds up shopping and makes it easier to pay for smaller items such as coffee or sandwiches.
Get in control
Paying by card is easier than ever, and our Personal Account comes with a thinkmoney Prepaid Debit MasterCard® you can use online, at ATMs and at shops and restaurants.
Plus, our account can help you stay in control of your money and avoid spending the money you should be keeping for life's essentials. To find out how it does that, check out how our account works.
*Consumer Intelligence questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,149 UK adults aged 18+ between 11th and 14th September 2013. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.