Skip to main content Accessibility Statement
man with five pound note

Contactless payments to rise – is cash dead?

From Tuesday 1 September, the maximum you can spend with a contactless payment will rise to £30 per transaction, which is an increase of £10. With more shops taking the tap and pay technology, and different devices joining cards as ways to pay, it’s never been more convenient to ditch coins and notes when out shopping. So does this mean the end of cash?

Well, research by Lloyds Bank has found one in four of us think we won’t need cash at all in five years, with a third expecting to use a mobile device to make their day-to-day payments.

These mobile contactless payments will certainly be on the rise, with Apple recently launching a system where you tap your phone on a reader to pay, with Google and Samsung set to introduce similar systems this year.

New technology isn’t just limited to handsets as the chips you find in your debit and credit cards also now available in contactless key rings, wristbands and even stickers (which you can put anywhere).

Increasing the limit to £30 will also push more payments through the new system – though these transactions are more likely to replace chip-and-pin sales than cash.

Don’t write cash’s obituary just yet

However, cash has its benefits – which means it’s certainly got a while before it goes the way of the dodo and VHS.

The most obvious are shops that don’t take cards. For the immediate future there will still be small businesses and events who are cash only or charge for using a card.

Contactless might be pretty quick, but it’s nothing compared to the speed of leaving the exact amount in coins and notes when you’re in a rush.

The simplest way to lend money to friends or pay them back is with notes and coins, and a bank transfer on your birthday isn’t quite the same as tenner in a card from granny.

It’s called counting the pennies for a reason

Cash also has a far bigger role to play in helping people stay on top of their finances.

Some of the best budgeting tricks for people who struggle to keep track of their money is to use cash instead of cards.  Here are a couple:

  • On a night out? Take the cash you can afford with you.
  • Need to pay some bills? Take the money out of your account on pay day so you don’t accidentally use it for something else.

Though budgeting is a word that can fill people with dread small tricks like this can actually make it pretty simple.

There are plenty more reasons to keep hold of your coins – at least for now.  What are the ways you use cash rather than cards?

What do you think?

We really want you to share your views, but please remember to be nice ☺
All fields are required. Check out our full commenting guidelines

By clicking on 'Post Comment', you're agreeing to our Commenting Policy

  • Mr Robert Judd / 21 September 2015

    I think it's making people on smaller budgets buy more expensive phones to be able to pay this way.I think it will be more difficult to correct mistakes.I have only used a credit card once. I'm usually asked to close them because I don't use them very often.

  • Simon / 21 September 2015

    It's inevitable that forms of credit transfer will eventually move on in a modern digital age, much to the upset of those who don't like paying tax. Banknotes themselves can carry infections and cause embarrassment and inconvenience when you've not enough on you to settle a bill. Also carrying cash has security risks, lose it through theft etc. and it's gone as even if insured there's always an excess to pay, but with one call to the banks 24/7 number your card can be immediately cancelled and re-issued at no cost.

  • Clive / 21 September 2015

    There is a constant artistic and historic beauty in the monetary systems, world wide, ask any numismatist.

  • S. Hay / 21 September 2015

    Think it will be dire if we lose cash. Carrying everything on cards and contactless chip pin things..just leads to folks accounts being hacked! You can't hack cash or coins. Hate the idea of losing good old fashioned cash and coins to these stupid cards etc. There will be no control at all.

  • Steve Hibbert / 20 September 2015

    Where I live, most businesses are too small to accept cards or contactless payments. So in these cases, cash is the only option. The banks lose out, but everyone else saves money.

  • Steve Hibbert / 20 September 2015

    Where I live, most businesses are too small to accept cards or contactless payments. So in these cases, cash is the only option. The banks lose out, but everyone else saves money.

  • engineertony / 20 September 2015

    In the event of a major computer internet crash, maybe from China or Russia, a stock market hiccup, a terrorist bank attack, a severe magnetic or radiation disturbance as a nuclear attack, where does that leave all the technology and dots in a computer representing your assets?
    Give me cash or something of real value.

  • MeThinks / 1 September 2015

    Not everyone can get a credit facility which I assume the majority of these contactless payment systems require. Plus some people simply don't want to use it, they prefer cash and always will