High Streets Initiative · 27 November 2017

One in three consumers give notes and coins just 25 years to survive

Great Britain Pound Currency
Around half of British shoppers would leave a shop if electronic payments were not available
A third of Britishconsumers have given traditional notes and coins a lifespan of just 25 years, new survey findings have shown, as shoppers of all ages begin to avoid cash-only high street businesses.

After polling the opinions of over 1, 600 UK consumers, business comparison site Expert Market found that at least a third of every age demographic believed cash would become obsolete in the next two-and-a-half decades.

Among the millennial group (aged 21 to 36 years old), cash is already rapidly decreasing in popularity. A third categorically avoided using cash altogether.

In fact, one in three millennials carry less than 5 in cash at any one time making cash transactions near impossible. At 46 per cent, the group was most likely to avoid cash-only businesses.

The UK’s youngest consumers have become so adept at embracing mobile payment technology that 41 per cent prefer to pay friends back via apps than cash, while a quarter even admitted to throwing away loose change.

Meanwhile, a third of Britain’s Generation X (aged 37 to 52 years old) agreed that notes and coins would be replaced by card and mobile payments within 25 years. Over half said they had been unable to make an in-store purchase due to theabsence of electronic payments.

New Dragons' Den investors: Jenny Campbell (second left) and Tej LalvanI (second right) join the three remaining business leaders


Britain’s local currencies

These local initiatives have proved that alternatives to pound sterling can support small business owners and help protect local high streets.


Even the Baby Boomer generation (aged 53 to 69) could see the end of cash in sight, with half also having encountered difficulties paying by card or mobile.

Among all three demographics, the most popular reason for embracing electronic payments was the added security it gave. Other factors for the move away from cash included the weight of notes and coins and general limitations.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.