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Contactless payments by mobile phones 'will outstrip cash by 2025'

Published 19/04/2016

Consumers are predicted to make more use of contactless payment methods
Consumers are predicted to make more use of contactless payment methods

A UK supermarket predicts contactless payments via mobile phones will outstrip cash within a decade.

The Co-operative said customers currently used cash for almost two thirds (65%) of all transactions, but contactless payments had trebled in a year as more bank cards with the technology came into use as well as the launch of mobile payments such as Apple Pay.

It predicts that 65% of all transactions will be by mobile phone by 2025, "with bank cards and cash becoming a thing of the past like cheque books".

The latest figures from The Co-operative show contactless has reached almost 11 million transactions in a month, up 1.4 million (15%) on the previous period.

Cheryl Marshall, retail chief information officer at The Co-operative Food, said: "We've seen incredible growth in contactless and it is the payment medium of tomorrow, although mobiles are ringing the changes.

"The new technology is perfect for convenience stores as shoppers buy fewer items and speed is important to them.

"Cash is still king as people enjoy carrying money, however we predict that by 2025 mobile payments will overtake cards and cash."

However, a survey by the supermarket of 2,000 shoppers found they still tended to use chip and pin rather than contactless for payments over £10.

Trust was the main barrier when making a more expensive purchase, and the ease of contactless "loses its appeal as soon as the spend gets into double figures in consumers' minds", the retailer's report found.

The average contactless spending on a basket in convenience stores is £8.66 compared with £18.16 when using chip and pin, and £9.38 compared with £23.28 for fuel despite the £30 limit.

A spokesman from the Royal Mint said: "The demise of cash has been predicted for a long time but it remains the currency option the general public turns to for confidence, convenience and security.

"Cash is still the most prominent payment method for UK consumers and global demand for coins is as strong as ever."

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