If the latest research done by the contactless and cashless service First Bus is anything to go by, Britain isn’t far from becoming fully cashless.

In a poll with 2,000 UK adult participants, it was found that one in five Britons no longer carry cash on their person, with most of them using other methods when it comes to spending money such as chip and pin, contactless or Apple Pay. Along with that, three quarters of said participants expect any shop they enter to take card, which is a huge development from the days of exclusively cash and cheques.

Physical cash has the drawback of being limited to what you’re carrying, and may not be enough if the price of a meal or luxury item comes over what you thought it might be, as found with 44% of the research subjects.

A spokesman from First Bus, the conductors of the research, had the following to say:

“The way people pay for goods and services has evolved, so we needed to ensure our ticketing changed too.

“The introduction of contactless payments alongside our digital ticketing options means that paying for bus travel is more convenient and simpler than ever before as customers don’t need to worry about having the right change for their bus fare.

“If more customers switched from cash to contactless, or purchased a digital ticket via our mTickets app, then we would be able to offer a quicker and more efficient bus service.”

The research subjects agree the sentiment of his statement. 40% of those who don’t often carry cash agree that it’s a more convenient method, and 10% don’t like carrying something as easily lost as spare change around.

Cash is seen as a hassle to many people now. 18% will usually spend more money if they physically have it on them, and a quarter of the subjects would rather use a card because of the inconvenience of getting to a cash machine. Most of the time, they will only carry a spare pound coin for a shopping trolley. Now, 33% of adults are certain Britain will become cashless soon.

It’s not only cash that is being phased out to save on time, effort and materials. Cheques are even closer to extinction with 58% of adults admitting they don’t use them, and 40% not even having a cheque book.

Within the next few years, Britain will be expected to put down the chequebooks and pick up the phones, and it’s a welcome change for most.

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