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One in ten Britons don’t carry any cash

Lucinda Beeman
Written By:
Lucinda Beeman

The number of people who carry no cash on them at all has almost doubled in nine months, a poll has found.

One in ten (11 per cent) people polled said they had no cash or coins on them whatsoever, according to alternative current account provider thinkmoney. Just six per cent said the same in September 2013.

Half of respondents had less than £20 on them at the time of the poll and one in five was carrying less than £5.

Young people were the most likely to be cashless, with 16 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds carrying no notes or bills. Just 7.6 per cent of respondents over the age of 55 said the same.

Men where more likely than women to carry no cash.

While reliance on cash is diminishing – recent research for the British Retail Consortium found that the use of cash has fallen 14 per cent in the last five years – thinkmoney found there are still some purchases people are reluctant to put on their cards.

More than half of people said they would rather not make small purchases like a newspaper or a pint of milk using their credit or debit card. While a third said they would pay for a sandwich using their card if absolutely necessary, just 16 per cent would be happy to pay for a packet of crisps with card.

Ian Williams of thinkmoney said: “Paying for items on your card – whether they’re small transactions or not – can make it easier to keep track of your finances. Whenever you pay for something using your debit card, the details are listed on your financial statements for you to check.

“If you rely on cash for the majority of your purchases, no such records exist – only that you withdrew the money. And don’t forget that if you lose your card it can usually be replaced swiftly and your money stays safe, but if you lose physical cash it is very difficult and often impossible to get back.”