Electronic Payments, Payment technology

Survey: Trend towards cashless society unlikely to take root in near future

Money Phone MobileA recent survey conducted by Compass Plus, a provider of retail banking and electronic payments software, indicated that the trend in the U.K. towards a cashless society is unlikely to become the standard in the near future.

The survey, which polled more than 100 U.K. residents about banking and payments habits, showed 90 percent of respondents made cash withdrawals from ATMs in the previous month—a figure higher than any other banking and payment service used.

The study found that the gap between cash and cards, in terms of popularity, has tripled in size, which could be attributed to the fact that 80 percent of respondents in the survey said cash is the most secure method of payment, up 22 percent from 2013.

Internet banking was listed as the most popular banking channel, with 45 percent of respondents citing internet banking as their preferred banking method, though the number is down 30 percent compared to 2013.

According to the survey, consumers indicated an increased preference for branch banking, which rose by 50 percent in the 2014 survey. Thirty-four percent of consumers said branch banking is still their main banking preference.

The trend towards mobile, however, continues. Though the preference for mobile banking remains relatively low, it has nearly doubled in size from seven percent to 13 percent, with most respondents indicating it would become their main banking channel.

The survey found industry expectations related to the mass adoption of contactless payments to be unrealistic. Industry participants estimated mass adoption would occur within one to three years. Less than 10 percent of respondents, however, made a purchase using their contactless card in the month prior.

“We carry out annual industry and consumer surveys to enable us to track public opinion against industry expectations and see where the differences lie,” Compass Plus CMO Maria Nottingham said. “With industry hype around mobile and alternative payments, it is interesting to note the shift back towards traditional payments and banking channels. The survey shows that many respondents do not view newer technologies such as contactless cards and mobile payments as secure ways to pay. This could indicate a trust challenge on the horizon for financial institutions.”

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