It seems strange to imagine life without cash itself - but the North East doesn't think it'll happen anytime soon. Why? Online research from Equifax , the credit information provider, reveals only 27% people living in the North East of England believe the UK will be a cashless society within the next 10 years – the lowest region to think this in the UK. This compares to the UK average of 37%.
New figures show that debit card payments have overtaken cash use for the first time, a total of 13.2 billion debit card payments were made last year, a rise of 14% on the previous year.
However, the research shows that while the use of cash is declining, it still has its fans. In the survey, conducted with Gorkana, respondents in the North East of England said coins are their top payment choice for vending machines (65%), parking meters (63%), charity donations (58%), and buses (65%).
Whilst there clearly is a preference to use cash for some things, there has been a shift towards using less cash over the last couple of years. 40% of those living in the North East of England use cash less than they did three years ago. And 35% in North East of England think shops, cafes or market stalls that only accept cash are inconvenient, highlighting the shift from cash to digital payments.
The findings also highlight that although the use of digital payments via contactless cards and online transactions is growing rapidly , some people are still wary about security. 26% of respondents in the North East of England don't feel confident that payments via websites or contactless cards are secure, and 29% think it's difficult to track money spent using digital methods.
Lisa Hardstaff, consumer credit information expert at Equifax, said: “Whilst using smart technology for payments is quick, easy and convenient for most people, our research does highlight that consumers are concerned they can lose track of how much they have spent. For most of us keeping track of small amounts may not seem a concern, however small amounts can add up, especially if you are on a tight budget. “If you think you are going to forget how much you spent on using contactless, it's probably worth taking a photo of the receipt with your phone or make a quick note. Then you will have all the details to hand if you need to query a payment on a statement.
“As for the confidence in security of using smart technology, it's more important than ever that consumers look after their personal information and payment devices, which now include smartphones and wearable tech, as well as credit and debit cards. Consumers should also keep an eye on their bank account and their credit information to watch for any unexpected changes.”