2018 – The Year of Peak Cash


Crypto chat in our office is almost a daily occurrence. But whilst we might not be there (yet ?) in terms of full digital currency transformation, we are pretty quickly going cashless.

“Sorry we don’t take card payments”

We’ve all been there, hit with shock and surprise knowing that you literally have about 17p in your wallet because when do we really need to carry cash anymore? There’s an app for the bus, Uber is hooked to your bank card and we online shop more than ever before. We will even use our cards for small value items like a coffee.

When contactless was introduced, I for one was never an advocate. Initially a pearl clutcher disapproving of the ease of which it can be exploited, fast forward about 6 months and I’m whipping out my bank card to slap on the machine with everyone else – what a time saver! Add ApplePay to the equation and we don’t even need our cards anymore.

Figures suggest that 2018 will be the year that the UK reaches ‘peak cash’, in which debit cards are used for more purchases than coins or notes. And in 8 years, we are likely to see only 21% of transactions made with cash in the UK. And whilst the volume of cash rises each year with inflation, it is now at its slowest rate since 1972! ATM data is showing that the amount of money withdrawn from machines has plummeted recently, with people withdrawing £6 BILLION less in 2016 than in 2015.

We have well and truly embraced a cashless society, largely down to the ease and efficiency it adds to our lives but some experts have warned that it will not benefit everyone. As the cashless system is happening at such a rapid rate, there is concern for those who will be disproportionately affected namely the elderly and low-income consumers. We will be dependent more and more on smartphones for cash alternative apps which commonly excluded groups may not be as accessible to.

It will still be a long time before we are completely cashless, if ever, but the notable slowdown on cash usage cannot be ignored as a sign of change. As for your cryptocurrency? I’d say

#HODL

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