Do UK consumers really want to go cashless?

The question of moving to a cashless economy is one of the dominating debates in payments. As new online banking and payments technology offers businesses and consumers alternative methods that are reshaping the payments landscape, the prevailing thought in some quarters is that there is no longer a place in the ecosystem for cash, the antiquated payment mechanism that has underpinned economies for millennia.

The UK consumers’ relationship with cash today
Paysafe published its Lost in Transaction: Payment Trends 2018 report which examines current consumer payment preferences. One of the key takeaways from the report is that cash is still a fundamental component of consumers’ spending patterns. Whilst 1.5 million adults in Britain do remain unbanked today, financial inclusion is not the same issue in the UK than it is in other countries, although this is certainly a factor to consider particularly as the value of ‘wages’ paid into the gig economy (of which a substantial percentage is cash) continues to increase.

Although 62% of UK consumers surveyed responded that they carried less cash now than they did a year previously, and the average amount of cash UK consumers carry has fallen 36% to £21, more consumers had made a payment using cash (88%) in the previous month than any other payment type either in person or online. 89% of consumers had taken cash from an ATM at least once in the past month, with the average consumer visiting the cash machine four times during that period.

Risk concerns are quelling the appetite for cashless
What will play a more significant role in the UK consumers’ appetite for a cashless economy is the perception of the competing forces of risk and convenience generated by new technologies such as contactless cards and mobile wallets, and where consumers feel comfortable on the spectrum between the two. Over two-thirds of Britons believe that fraud from contactless payments is on the rise. Whilst this situation is maintained, it is unlikely that we will see all consumers completely turn away from using cash as a preferred payment option.

The evolution of cash online
A further aspect of the evolution of consumers’ relationship with cash is the migration of cash-based products to the digital world. Instead of abandoning cash altogether, consumers are investigating how they can make use of the benefits of cash online by making digital payments using hard currency. According to Lost in Transaction: Payment Trends 2018, 54% of UK consumers do not feel comfortable sharing their financial data online to pay, and 64% feel more comfortable purchasing online using a prepaid PIN or voucher where their financial details are not shared.

Paysafecash is a new alternative cash payment solution that makes it possible to pay online securely and simply in cash. This offers consumers the ability to make post-paid payments online, even if they have no access to credit cards or online banking or do not want to provide their financial data for their internet payments for security reasons.

Paysafecash stands out through its very secure and customer-friendly payment process and has been specifically developed for the needs of online merchants operating within the eCommerce sector, such as e-retail.

Here is how it works:

Customer generates barcode

After selecting a product or service in an online store, the customer selects “Paysafecash” as the payment method and is presented a QR/barcode. This code can then be loaded to their wallet, sent to their mobile phone or be printed out.

Customer finds nearest payment point

Using the search function on the website or in the Paysafecash app, the customer finds his nearest Paysafecash payment point.

Barcode is scanned & paid

After the barcode is scanned by the sales person at the payment point, the customer pays the open amount in cash. The merchant/online shop is then immediately informed and instructed to process the sale. 

Paysafecash is already live in 18 markets including Austria, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, UK, and as a first country outside of Europe, in Canada, many more markets to be launched until the end of 2018.

Undoubtedly cash remains alive and well in the world of payments, and through products such as paysafecard and Paysafecash will continue to be a vital element of the financial landscape even as payments become increasingly digital.

Learn more about Paysafecash

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