Decline of cash use drives need to accept cards
Cash is no longer king in the UK since debit card payments overtook cash in 2018. However, cash still remains the second largest payment method and as many as 2.7 million people in the UK rely almost entirely on cash for everyday transactions, so it would be problematic to refuse cash payments in some cases.
A big factor behind the surge of card payments is the contactless trend. Consumers habitually tap to pay, as it is quicker and more secure (no PINs are entered in plain sight). More and more bars, small businesses and public transport networks have even opted for card-only payments, simply because there is less hassle involved.
Street musicians, charities and homeless people have all noticed the tendency for more and more people excusing “sorry, I don’t have cash”. So much so that more are resorting to mobile card readers for contactless donations.
All of these factors contribute to the downwards trend of cash transactions. That said, the number of banknotes in circulation has remained comparable to previous levels, even increased. A lot of factors, such as the economy and political climate, can affect this, but it seems clear that people are continuing to rely on cash in certain situations, so not something we should ignore completely.