Cashless. Cardless.

Up until this past weekend when I had to pay for a taxi, I had the same £5 note in my pocket for three weeks. It was the only cash that I had on me for that entire time. This week, I haven’t even had that much.

With the launch of Apple Pay in the UK, it is becoming clear that we are rapidly heading towards a cashless society and I can’t wait. In fact, there was a recent study by nVest Ventures reporting that 20% of UK consumers think that paying with cash is now actually inconvenient (and this number increases to 26% for 16 – 24s).

And the Payments Council have reported that 2014 was the first year where cash payments represented less than half (48%) of the total number of transactions in the UK. I suspect that 2015 will show a further drop.

Cashless UK
Source: The Independent

There’s a very limited number of times where I need to pay with cash here in the UK these days – some taxis, festivals and market stalls, etc. But with the growth of mobile payments, this will change soon too.

In fact, I can’t wait for us to be both cashless and cardless. I hate carrying my wallet around with different credit / debit cards (three for home, two for work), drivers license, security pass, loyalty card, parking pass and so on. The promise of Apple Pay and other mobile payment systems is that I can one day leave my wallet and my cash at home. All I need is my phone.

My Wallet
My wallet.

Apple Pay isn’t the only mobile payment solution of course. Barclays are trying to promote their own systems (PingIt, PayM, PayTag), Google has Google Wallet, PayPal and Square have similar competing alternatives. So there will be plenty of choice for everyone.

Those that might feel nervous about it should know that the transactions using Apple Pay will be more secure than current chip and pin credit cards too. Plus, you should be able to track where your money goes more easily as you each microtransaction will be recorded in your bank statement instead of one single ATM transaction every few days.

So for me, I am increasingly cashless and I have a strong desire to be cardless too.. if only my bank would hurry up and support Apple Pay.

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