Nearly half of Britons (47%) carry less than £5 in cash in their wallets amid a surge in popularity for digital payment channels, according to a new study by MasterCard.
The transformation is gradually making wallets and purses obsolete as people are carrying less cash than ever. The study highlights that over one in 10 (14%) of people have no cash at all in their wallet or purse.
The study indicates that two in five people (43%) keep less hard cash in their pockets than they did two years ago due to growing use of contactless payments, while 17% of the people said it was due to the comparative ease of using card.
The number of transactions being made with cards has surged by over 9% each year since 2013, totalling 17 billion transactions in the UK last year.
A quarter (24%) people are eager to stop hauling a wallet or purse around with them. On average, people carry two debit or credit cards in their purse or wallet.
One in five people (20%) believe wallets will become obsolete due to the rise of new payment technologies, including contactless cards and contactless mobile devices.
Men are less likely to carry large amounts of cash on them, with 54% keeping less than £5 in their wallet, compared to 39% of women.
MasterCard president of UK and Ireland Mark Barnett said: “We’re in the midst of a period of unprecedented change for payments.
“Cash usage is being buffeted by the dual forces of increased online expenditure and consumers embracing the convenience, speed and security of card and digital payments.
“This trend is also reducing the amount of cash businesses need to handle and process, which is time consuming and an often overlooked cost.”