The Way We Pay Now
If you like the feel of cash in your hands, enjoy it now because its days could be numbered. Confused.com's Carl Chambers ponders the decline of
paper currency and previews things to come.
The Payments Council - the organisation that sets strategy for UK payments - recently released The Way We Pay 2010. The report highlights the
payment revolution that occurred during the noughties, and which is still going on now. It shows how plastic and electronic payments exploded over
the past decade, and paints a grim future for cash and cheques.
Even though the Payment Council reckons cash won't disappear in our lifetime, it's already becoming less familiar to me. For instance, I hardly
recognise the people on notes these days. Apart from that regal-looking lady in the crown, who exactly are Elizabeth Fry (Â£5), Adam Smith (Â£20)
and Sir John Houblon (Â£50)? Bring back Isaac Newton (inventor of gravity/Shaft theme composer), I say.
I remember being paid in cash right up until the mid 90s, when every Friday I'd get a small envelope stuffed with notes. These days, the only people
who get paid like that are politicians. Now my wages take an electronic route: work â†’ my bank â†’ my mortgage provider, thus bypassing me
completely with true electronic efficiency.
So with cheques on the way out (termination date: 2018), and cash in decline, what does the future hold for transacting payments?
Debit card spending is set to nearly double by 2018 as we continue to rely less on cash and cheques. And although the table has debit card payments
accounting for a quarter of all 2018 transactions, the Payment Council Report says this could be an underestimate as contactless technology takes
What is Contactless Technology? Already being trialed here, the system pairs a special debit card with a card reader installed at the point of
purchase. After a checkout assistant has scanned your goods, you simply hold the card near the reader until payment is approved.
However, the fact that no PI