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Paying by card or phone 'to outstrip cash in 10 years'

By Josie Clarke

A UK supermarket predicts contactless payments via mobile phones will outstrip cash within a 10 years.

The Co-op said customers now use cash for almost two thirds (65%) of 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 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. 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. But 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 report found. The average contactless spending on a basket in convenience stores is £8.66 compared with £18.16 for chip and pin.

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 public turns to for confidence, convenience and security.

"Cash is still the most prominent payment method in the UK."

Belfast Telegraph