Martin Lewis warns of ‘risk’ of a cashless society
Cash is decreasing in popularity and the shift away from physical tenure is concerning for millions of Britons who rely on cash in their daily lives. Yet some Britons have already made the change to live without cash and shared their experiences with Express.co.uk.
Card and digital have overtaken cash as the most popular means of payment, making up 85 percent of transactions in 2021.
A recent Express.co.uk poll has found that more than nine in 10 readers are worried about the UK becoming a cashless society — but there are benefits to not having to rely on cash.
Speaking about their experience of living cash-free, username P1947 commented on Express.co.uk: “I’m 76 and because l was sick of people saying that old people wouldn’t manage in a cashless society, I took on the challenge.
“I have been 100 percent cashless for the past two years. Best thing I ever did — so easy.”
READ MORE: ‘Appalling that shops can refuse cash’ — readers react to UK going cashless
Tom Bourlet, head of marketing for fizzbox.com, has also made the transition, and told Express.co.uk: “One of the biggest changes I made in order to do the transition was to switch from my big wallet which had a coin section to just one that held cards. It’s a lot smaller and lighter, ideal if I’m on a quick dog walk.”
The 35-year-old explained: “Having a digital trail of everything I’ve spent makes it much easier to manage my finances, to understand my ingoings and outgoings and to ensure I know exactly how much I have at any point.
“The reality is that it’s also safer not carrying cash on you. I have teenage memories of being mugged multiple times growing up in Acton, London. Having cash on you was a poisoned chalice
“Plus, a minor bonus is that cash in your bank can earn interest or in crypto can increase in value with time, but stuck as currency in your wallet it merely diminishes with time.”
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Several shops and businesses no longer accept cash with LINK, the UK’s largest cash machine network, finding that 45 percent of Britons have been to an establishment where cash has not been accepted or discouraged.
This is what caused Mr Bourlet to make the change. He said: “I was pushed to make the change as a number of services and stores in Brighton were no longer accepting cash, so it became a bit of a burden to hold, never able to spend it.
“I simply went to the bank and asked to have it all put into my account, so no need to use it all up.”
Personal finance expert, Tara Flynn, co-founder of comparison site, Choosewisely.co.uk, said: “I deeply empathise with why going cashless can be daunting for some people, especially older consumers who don’t trust technology.”
She continued: “Going cashless definitely has its advantages — such as reducing the risk of loss or theft of physical money and saving time finding ATMs to withdraw cash. Digital payments can help with budgeting too by automatically updating your balance and tracking your expenses.
“Friends and family can play a vital role in assisting elderly relatives in transitioning to a cashless system. Regular communication and reassurance can help your loved ones build confidence and ease any concerns elderly relatives may have about going cashless”.
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