In less than ten years time it is estimated that only one in four payments will made by cash.
Although it might feel to some like we have reached that point already, it will mark a dramatic shift from the current status quo when around half of all payments are made by notes or coins.
But while the shift to a cash free existence might feel like an inevitability, there are people on the fringes of society who are so reliant on it, that a life without it almost seems like an impossibility.
Yet, there is a growing awareness amongst the homeless and those that support them that action needs to be taken now so they are ready when the time comes.
For those with no fixed abode there are a huge array of different hurdles that need to be jumped in order for them live a life not wholly reliant on cash.
Take setting up a bank account, for instance.
It seems tough enough when you have a permanent address, proof of other credit facilities and ID.
But when you don’t it becomes a whole lot harder.
And that is why charities like St Mungo’s and the Big Issue Foundation (the charitable arm of the Big Issue) are working hard to help as many people as possible gain access to the things we take for granted.
Around one in four of St Mungo’s clients dont have a bank account, many having only dealt with cash before.
David Fisher, the charity’s executive director of services, said setting up bank accounts and other services, like phone contracts, can be difficult without a permanent address.
He added: ‘It’s important that people who may be homeless or vulnerable aren’t left behind when it comes to living in an ever evolving and innovative society.’
Paul McNamee, who is the editor of the Big Issue magazine, told metro.co.uk it is also working with its vendors to ensure they have the facilities they need.
‘We haven’t necessarily noticed a negative impact on our sales because of the move to cashless,’ he said.
‘But we know that’s going to come which is why this is something we are looking to get ahead of.’
He explained discussions are ongoing with banks to ensure people selling the Big Issue will be able to take both contactless and cash payments.
‘Because it’s essentially a cash environment our vendors work in, we’ve also had to consider how they will be able to cash up because they are leading lives that are pretty hand to mouth some of the time,’ he continued.
‘We are working with vendors to enable to them do those things. To help them get ID, whether that’s tracing back to help them get a National Insurance number, helping them getting ID or passports.’
The magazine has been trialling cashless methods of payment in a number of different locations across the country.
But there is one vendor, who pioneered the method off his own back and has been reaping the benefits ever since.
Simon Mott first invested in a chip and pin device through Swedish company iZettle a few years ago.
The 52-year-old, who sells the Big Issue outside South Kensington Tube station, spent £59 on the initial device but now takes around £500 a year in chip and pin, contactless and Apple Pay transactions.
‘I wouldn’t have seen that money if it wasn’t for the card reader,’ he told metro.co.uk.
He said the investment was a reaction to what he realised was a growing issue.
‘People say to me I’d like to buy the magazine but I don’t have money on me,’ he continued.
‘In the past it might have been a polite put down, when nowadays it’s actually true, they haven’t got any money or change.’
Simon said one noticeable difference about taking card payments, is that the money does not go in to his pocket instantaneously. And he thinks that’s a good thing.
‘You don’t have access to those funds immediately, it might be a couple of days before it goes in to your bank account,’ Simon added.
‘You don’t have the money to spend and waste it. It encourages the forethought of managing your money in a better way really
‘I think things are going to have to change.
‘This isn’t just from the Big Issue’s point of view but from that of other homeless people begging on the streets, if people don’t change then they are going to suffer as well.’
Meyjes, T. (2016) How will the homeless survive in a cashless society? Available at: http://metro.co.uk/2016/06/10/how-will-the-homeless-survive-in-a-cashless-society-5936662/ (Accessed: 29 June 2016).