For the first time in modern society, the use of cashless payments has surpassed the use of cash by consumers, businesses and financial institutions.
The Payments Council, an organization of financial institutions in the UK that oversees all payment mechanisms, reported the use of cash fell to 48% last year.
This left 52% to all other transactions including electronic payments, debit, credit, mobile, cheques and more.
By 2024, 35% of consumer payments in the UK are expected to be in cash.
This 30% decrease in cash spending over the next 10 years will be caused by the move towards credit, debit and mobile payments.
Interestingly enough, cash still remained the most common payment method for consumers and businesses in 2014.
The types of businesses where cash was used most frequently were bars, clubs and newsstands. This contrasts gas stations where over 70% of transactions were cashless.
We should expect the same trend in Canada but at a slower rate since adoption of new payments technology in North America has been slower than in Europe.
Regardless, payments technology continues to expand in Canada with the adoption of mobile payments by the major banks and telecommunications companies.
Most recently, MTS and Sasktel introduced mobile payments to their networks. Canada now has five mobile carriers that provide Canadians with the ability to make purchases with their smartphone.
Rogers, Telus, Bell, MTS and Sasktel now all support mobile payments in Canada. Collectively, these carriers provide mobile cell service to over 94% of Canadians.
In addition to the wireless carriers, the major Canadian banks are providing mobile payments through their own smartphone applications.
Our adoption to new technology is gradually making it easier for Canadians to make payments without the need to carry cards or cash.