Debit cards will overtake cash as Britain's most frequently used method of payment by 2018 thanks to the rise in contactless cards.
That's according to Payments UK, the trade association for the payments industry.
Worldpay, which handles 40% of all UK card transactions said that spending on all forms of contactless systems now accounts for 28% of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with total spend exceeding £10b for the year in 2016.
Worldpay processed over £1.5b in contactless payments in December alone, with shoppers spending an average of £10.39 per transaction.
James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: "Contactless cards have paved the way for rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, driving investment in infrastructure and familiarity among consumers. Today one in five of us will use the technology at least once a day, rising to a third of people in London. But as people get more used to paying for goods on their smartphone, mobile's ability to bridge more effectively across online and offline retail channels will increasingly threaten the future of the traditional payment card. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they'd happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead."
Consumer research commissioned by the payments provider, found that:
• A quarter of UK consumers claim they've started avoiding shops that don't take cards, while a third (30%) say they only use cash if absolutely necessary.
• Two-thirds (60%) of 24-34 year olds say they would prefer not to have to carry cash.
• One in 10 small and independent retailers are still refusing to accept card payments, whilst a further 10% impose a lower limit on non-cash payments.
Frost added: "For today's digitally driven shoppers, cash has become a relic. It's easy to see why that's the case, as innovations like contactless and mobile payments continue to raise the bar in terms of speed, simplicity and convenience. For consumers, being able to pay by which ever method they choose is a minimum requirement of what it means to be a modern retailer."
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