Older And Poorer Communities Are Left Behind By The Decline Of Cash

Money

 

By Daniel  Tischer, Jamie Evan’s and Sara Davies in The Conversation.

 

A future without cash seems almost inevitable. Recent statistics paint a damning picture: while cash accounted for 62% of all payments by volume in 2006, this dropped to 40% in just a decade and is predicted to fall yet further to 21% by 2026.

Digital payments, on the other hand, are trending strongly in the opposite direction. Contactless payments in December 2018 in the UK were 28% higher than the same month in the previous year (at 691m in total), while the total number of card transactions increased by 12% over the same period.

In the long term, such a shift may well have benefits for many, given the speed and convenience that digital payments offer. But in the meantime, in the next five to ten years or so, there remain lots of people still dependent on cash – particularly those who are older or from lower income households. These people, it seems, are at risk of being forgotten if current trends continue. Ironically, those who are least likely to need cash have the best access to it.

 

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