Britain is abandoning cash

An activist dressed as Scrooge McDuck throws counterfeit money from a golden mountain onto protesters during a demonstratioGettyAn activist dressed as Scrooge McDuck throws counterfeit money from a golden mountain onto protesters during a demonstration.

Britain is abandoning the use of physical money.

Payments Council data revealed that cashless payments overtook the use of notes and coins for the first time and cash volumes are expected to fall by 30% over the next decade.

The industry body, which oversees the system of transactions, said it isn’t just the average person on the street that is favouring electronic transactions over physical money, businesses and financial institutions are all opting for debit and credit card transactions and transfers over cash.

In fact, use of cash by consumers, businesses and financial organisations fell to 48% of payments last year. Some 4.4% of Britons said that they “rarely” use cash at all.

The Payments Council said there were 18 billion cash payments in the UK in 2014. This is worth around £250 billion (£389 billion). The group noted that cash is still being used 80% of the time in pubs, clubs, and newsagents.

However, the Bank of England chief cashier, whose signature appears on the bank notes, Victoria Cleland told the BBC that she severely doubts cash will die.

“Absolutely not,” she said in response to whether cash will be eliminated. “Since I’ve started the job I’m seeing a growing demand. I’m seeing a 46% increase of notes in circulation. I think the proportion of cash transactions is coming down, but I’m still seeing a fairly stable value of cash transactions.”

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