The days of carrying cash are numbered according to a new study into the habits of UK consumers, with mobile payments set to be our main form of payment within the next few years.
The Future of Mobile Payments report including a survey of 1,000 UK adults*, published by
the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), the not-for-profit body for the prepaid sector, found that currently just under a quarter of adults (24%) have used their mobile phone to make payments, with 12% doing so on a regular basis.
However, the greater convenience and extra functions offered through mobile payment apps, mean
that the majority of consumers under the age of 44 expect mobiles to replace cash and plastic as their main means of making payments within the next few years.
Consumers questioned in the study said that the main reasons for making the switch were being able to see real-time account and balance information (47% of consumers), as well as the greater convenience of being able to carry just their phone (39%).
Only older consumers are resisting the lure of mobile payments. While 49% of 18 to 24 year olds have used mobile payments, this figure plummets to 12% of over 55s and just 5% of over 65s. However, over 25% of those questioned already use their mobile to make payments, with highest usage in Northern Ireland at 33% and Yorkshire and the North West with 29%. London follows a close 3rd at 28%.