Will we ever become a completely cashless society?

April 25, 2021
min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many industries especially ecommerce and mobile payments. For example, the US ecommerce market grew 44% in 2020 – nearly triple in spending from 2019. In the UK, the numbers are nearly parallel with the US at 46% growth according to the Office for National Statistics. The push for contactless payment due to social distancing, online shopping demand, ease of use and comfort have expedited the possibility of phasing out cash faster than we could have ever expected.We’ve come across an in-depth guide: A Cashless Reality by Upgraded Points that details the usage of cash over history and the possibility of it being phased out completely.

Most interesting points on cash usage

  • China was one of the first societies to use a measurable and standardized currency using small coins around 770 B.C.
  • It was only until 960 A.D. that paper was used. Cash was further accelerated by colonists writing IOUs – and cash grew upwards and onwards from there.
  • In present day UK, ATM withdrawals dropped 42% in 2020 from 2019.
  • UK’s cash usage dropped 60% in 2020.
  • One in four people are avoiding using cash completely due to the pandemic.
  • India among the top 5 countries seeing digital payments a positive next step.
  • COVID-19 has affected spending habits across the world significantly.

How close are we to a cashless future?

"A Cashless Reality " considers which countries are most likely to move to cashless, and which countries are most reliant on cash still. It also covers what a cashless future would look like.Some countries are closer than others to moving away from cash completely including China, Finland, South Korea, the UK and Australia. The guide goes into further detail about why.

Benefits of moving away from cash

There are many benefits to moving away from cash including reduced business costs, easier international payments, speed and convenience. We’ve outlined several in our blog post: “7 Advantages Of Digital Payments During COVID” and Upgraded Points goes into further detail in their guide, "A Cashless Reality" as well.

Learn more

Finally the guide explains how to prepare yourself for a cashless future and provides some useful links related to currency. We’ve found this subject quite interesting, and we invite you to read the full guide here.