Retail sector set for “colossal” change as Britain goes cashless

Ecommerce By Rhys Little, 25th March 2014

The British retail centre is primed for huge change over the next 12 months as an increasing number of consumers develop a preference for paying by card.

A new study from The Payments Council suggests that 2014 will represent ‘Year One’ of what it describes as the ‘cashless era’, with more and more Brits veering away from cash-based transactions.

Indeed, in a set of predictions for the payments market ahead of what’s expected to be a significant 12 months for UK retail, the study claimed that transactions involving physical currency would fall below the 50 per cent barrier.

As reported by, this will mark the first time that deals involving cash do not represent the majority of all payments made.

This trend is expected to play very much into the hands of online retailers as consumers feel more at ease with using their debit and credit cards. One in five of the consumers surveyed by The Payments Council went as far as saying they would prefer the UK to move away from cash altogether, which could be down to their favourable experiences with ecommerce.

When considering the growth in technology like contactless payment systems and 4G, analysts are backing the high street to be “practically unrecognisable” from what stands in present day.

This runs in tandem with findings from another study, conducted by Forresterand cited by, which backs Britain to be cashless by 2016 and the mobile phone to act as a “digital wallet” for the bulk of transactions.