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Is carrying a purse or wallet a thing of the past?

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Written by: Emma Lunn
06/12/2021
Half of Brits said they never pay with cash, with only 14% of people always carrying cash.

A survey by Samsung Pay found that 52% of Brits claim they never take notes or coins with them on routine trips, instead using their mobile phone to make payments.

More than a third (36%) of those surveyed said they only ever use a purse or wallet if travelling further than usual, while almost a fifth (18%) never use theirs.

About 16% of Brits can’t even remember the last time they brought their wallet or purse out with them – while a further 14% admitted it’s been at least six months since they used one.

The study found that overall, 83% of Brits are making fewer cash purchases than they were doing so five years ago. Nearly three quarters (72%) of survey respondents believed it was only older people who still routinely used cash.

According to the poll, the main reasons Brits are preferring to pay for products and services with a card or phone are worries about losing cash while out (24%), concerns about how hygienic it is to use cash anymore (23%), and feeling vulnerable about getting cash out in public (22%).

More than a quarter (26%) thought it was ‘a big faff’ having to count out change to pay for things, and an efficient 19% said that it simply takes too long.

The study found that 73% of restaurant meals are paid for by a cashless transaction, and 64% of Brits always pay for a drink in a pub by card or phone.

The majority (83%) pay for their big food shop by cashless means, while 85% pay for clothes and shoes by card or phone, and 71% don’t use cash for train or bus tickets.

More than half (52%) of haircuts are now paid for without cash, and the same number (52%) of car parking fees are now paid for in a cashless transaction.

The research also found that 89% of people believe they’ll come a point when neither cards or cash is used, and people will pay for everything with their mobile phone. Almost a quarter of Brits (24%) believe phone payments are much more secure and feel safer than using a card or cash for transactions.

Teg Dosanjh, director of connected services and technology at Samsung UK and Ireland, said: “It’s no surprise that we’re seeing so few cash transactions being made by customers now, and when you factor in the number of shops and restaurants that have stopped accepting cash altogether, it’s easy to see why.

“In addition, we’ve become more tech savvy, with a rise in the number of Brits choosing to use their phones to make contactless payments, with many of us just wanting the flexibility and convenience of being able to pay however, and whenever we choose.”

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