Cash vs Cards – which will win?

Is this the end of cash as we know it?

In recent years there’s been a major shift in consumer spending habits that has caught the attention of many businesses, with several looking set to embrace the unexpected change. This shift is the increasing desire among consumers to move away from cash purchases, with many opting instead to pay using alternative, more modern options.

Card payments have been popular for a long time but the use of credit cards to pay for goods really boomed when shopping online grew in popularity. Not only do cards offer a secure  and convenient way of paying, some cards also bring other benefits such as cash back, loyalty gifts and rewards for shoppers.

We thought we’d point out some of the current trends in cash-less payments to help you stay ahead of the curve.

Banking

Statistics have long shown that the number of individuals who access bank account information via an iPhone or Blackberry is on the rise.

Mobile banking apps in particular have become increasingly popular, as they take away the physical element of having to find the nearest bank branch, meaning that everything is now available at the touch of a screen or button.

One obvious downside to mobile banking, or any process where you deal with personal data over the internet, is the security of the network connection. Fraudsters are always finding new ways to hijack internet connections with the intention of stealing personal information to commit fraud. For some quick tips on staying safe online, take this quiz from Symantec. It’s also a chance to find out how much you know!

Transport

As the demand for more cards with different benefits rose, so did the need for businesses to cater for this trend. This is echoed in recent news, where Transport for London announced that we will no longer be able to pay cash for bus journeys in the capital, in a move that will potentially save £24m a year.

Tfl announced that must now use prepaid Oyster cards or contactless payments after the option to pay drivers using cash ended at the beginning of July.

Building credit

One of the best ways to establish credit is with a credit card.  By using cards responsibly, and repaying the card back regularly, you’ll be able to start building your credit score.

Simply put, when lenders see a responsible and trustworthy prospect they will be more likely to offer better deals for loans/mortgages in the long run. For the purpose of building credit to make yourselves more attractive to lenders, credit cards certainly trump cash, so long as you are responsible with repayments.

In light of all of the above, we aren’t saying that cash will become completely redundant. More than half of bank customers use a branch every month despite the rise of internet and mobile banking, according to Accenture. This article demonstrates our point.

So when it comes down to it, what does the consumer really prefer, cash vs cards? Please feel free to write to us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your thoughts!