money

Surprisingly people think cash will still be around in 20 years

By Oliver Smith 21 June 2016
Summary

Will you still carry coins around in 2036?

Do you think you’ll still carry cash in a decade or two? Pockets full of coppers or (plastic) £5 notes?

This morning a survey of 2,000 Brits found that 68% believe physical cash simply won’t exist by 2036.

But that actually still gives cash a healthy 20 year life expectancy.

So what will replace cash?

Unsurprisingly card payments have already more than overtaken those made with cash. Today contactless card payments and paying with your mobile with things like Apple Pay and Android Pay are also on the rise.

Read more: Forget cashless, Britain on track to become a cardless society

MasterCard alone recently said contactless spending has increased by 326% over the last year in the UK.

In London the number of people predicting the collapse of cash within 20 years is even higher, with 75% of us counting down the days until we can ditch coppers, according to the study by YouGov and London & Partners.

Cash’s last stand

But the days of cash aren’t over yet, today’s stats imply most people think it still has a good 20 years of life.

That echoes what experts have are saying.

In September the Bank of England will launch a new plastic £5 note, promised to be safer and longer-lasting than the paper note it replaces, with plans for plastic £10 and £20 notes to arrive in 2017 and 2020.

Meanwhile the sheer number of coins in circulation is rising. Last year the Bank of England saw “strong demand” for new coins and actually increased the number it produces.

Read more: Is cash still king? Britain minted 2.4 billion new coins last year

So are reports of cash’s imminent demise exaggerated? Maybe we’ll be carrying coins for longer than we imagine.

At the end of the day the death of cash will be decided by people as they vote with their wallets.

Either in cash, or card.