Cash usage is in decline in every region around the world, with eWallets, credit cards and bank transfers becoming the most popular payment methods in 2018, new research shows.
Analysis has revealed that if current trajectories towards digitisation continue, 8.17 million vulnerable members of society would suffer due to their dependence on physical payment methods. This includes 5.2 million households, or 80% of elderly homes, that rely on cash.
Also at risk of digital exclusion in the UK are the 320,000 estimated people living rough on the streets, 1.3 million adults without bank accounts and 1.352 million people with physical or mental health issues.
Global Payment Methods collates official reports to reveal the potential societal repercussions of digital exclusivity, whereby coins, banknotes and cheques are replaced by eWallets, cryptocurrencies and bank cards.
This rise in alternative payment methods has also led to a decline in ATMs, with the number in the UK dropping from 54,000 to 49,700 between January 2018 and July 2019 alone.
Since 2015, digital payment methods have risen to meet the needs of online shoppers, with eWallets and bank transfers the most popular in 2018. Cash is forecasted to be replaced by debit card as the leading payment method by the end of this year.