back to article 12% of UK don't carry cash

Two-thirds of you don't like using cash, and one in eight has stopped carrying it entirely, according to Barclays, which (unsurprisingly) reckon cards are the way of the future. The research was done by Populus who, at the behest of Barclays and Barclaycard, interviewed 2,000 people and discovered that the average UK wallet …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    12% of UK don't carry cash

    Probably because 12% of UK doesn't have any cash to carry around.

  2. Blofeld's Cat

    Advantages of cash...

    - Almost universally accepted in the UK.

    - Quick to use.

    - Retailers don't need a terminal or have to give the bank a percentage.

    - You can take payments anywhere.

    - You can easily check your balance.

    - Banks and governments dislike it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      -Barman doesn't get arsey.

      At either having to take card for a round.

      Or give cashback to stop the above happening every. single. round.

      My local doesn't have a phone line, let alone a card reader to connect to it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also ...

      ... without cash, how do you lend someone a tenner if they're a bit brassic?

      And how are charity shops and jumble sales going to work without cash? And do 12% of people really not pop into a newsagents for a bar of chocolate?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        ... brassic?

        Here, let me fix that for you ...

        boracic lint = skint

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Thanks but ...

          ... times have changed, and now "brassic" is just as acceptable. You'll find that a) English changes over time, and that b) formal definitions of informal language are the height of tardery.

          Here's my lame internet dictionary reference:

          1. HipposRule

            Not according to the OED (Kindle edition)

            We speak British English though as it happens it also not in the Kindle's US dictionary at all.

    3. /dev/rant

      Re: Advantages of cash...

      - and when you loose is it is gone forever.

      No amount of phone calls to treasury will cancel your banknotes and issue you with new ones at no cost to you.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        If I lose any cash

        It's not gone forever... someone will find it and good luck to them. I never carry enough cash that I would really miss if lost anyway, just enough to buy some food and a couple of pints if required.

        Sure if I lose my wallet with multiple bank and credit cards in it, I can spend hours on end to get them cancelled and I'll still have to wait a couple of days minimum before I can pay for anything. Considering all the related hassle it could be less trouble losing a tenner or two than a credit card.

        That's not even considering the chances of fraud if some shyster finds my cards, or if they got nicked in the first place.

        On the whole, I have a simpler solution i.e. not lose my stuff

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      - How are you going to pay people to do foreigners?

      - Sometimes one can't fix just fix their computer in return.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Using cash also keeps people employed

      The second largest private employer on the planet is mainly concerned with moving real money around.

      Oh and using cash leaves more money in the retailers wallet as there aren't all those nasty fees taken off the top of every transaction.

    6. Bluenose


      Have you tried to buy an airline ticket, car, theatre or concert tickets or any one of a host of other items with cash. Probably not because you would realise that its rarely possible to do it.

      1. Daniel 4

        @Bluenose (Impulse vs. planned purchases)

        "Have you tried to buy an airline ticket, car, theatre or concert tickets or any one of a host of other items with cash. Probably not because you would realise that its rarely possible to do it."

        Which has absolutely nothing to do with me using cash or not on a daily basis. I'm certain that there are people out there that just get it into their head to buy a car in the morning and do so before tea time, but for most of us, we know when we're going to be making any of those purchases in advance. So we can still use cash for our daily life if we so choose.


      2. Arthur Dent

        @Bluenose re: except

        "Have you tried to buy an airline ticket, car, theatre or concert tickets or any one of a host of other items with cash. Probably not because you would realise that its rarely possible to do it."

        Airline ticket: yes, tried and succeeded several times (but usually use a card)

        Car: yes, tried and succeeded several times (but more often write cheque; used card just once)

        concert tickets:yes, cash works fine for more than 50% of the concerts I go to

        theatre tickets: yes, cash works fine for more than 50% of my theatre visits.

        host of other items: well, I don't buy my fixed line phone service, my internet access, my electricity, my domestic gas, my life assurance, my tv license, my water rates, or my council rates with cash - direct debit is much more convenient; but cards are pretty useless for any of those. And I don't do internet shopping with cash (it would be difficult), and tend to do car insurance, car tax, tv licence with cards. When I was paying into a private pension fund, I did that by direct debit for regular payments and used a card only for one-off payments. Tube tickets - used a card for Oyster automatic topup; train tickets - cash or card depending on how much.

        Apart from internet shopping, my main uses of card are paying for restaurant, meals, restocking the booze cupboard, and supermarket shopping if I'm buying a lot, and car hire when not in the UK (where my car lives).

        "rarely possible"??? Rubbish, all the things you named can easily be bought with cash.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "44 per cent of them now know that the lines represent contactless payment, and 65 per cent are aware that cards in general are capable of such a thing."

    I wonder what the percentage is for people (rightly) concerned about security and privacy issues with said cards. 'Contactless' implies 'remotely' you know.

    1. Andrew 66

      What security concerns?

      What like....the maximum of a couple of hundred pounds before it's useless

      the fact that I DON'T have to type my PIN in exactly the sort of establishments where it's most likely, thus meaning there is NO chance that someone will steal it when using contacless, and thus meaning they can't go around spending thousands

      I'd love to see how long it takes for somebody to rack up a significant 'steal' at 15 quid a time

      And I haven't yet managed to get my Contactless card to work a centimetre from the reader...what with the fact that my wallet is thicker than both air and 1cm, good luck to anyone stealing my information by brushing by....that leaves....oh, exactly the same hardware potential as Chip & Pin or mag stripe

      And b******s is cash more secure, I would be willing to wager 100x more people could successfully steal a wallet than steal credit card details

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Win that bet, and still lose more.

        You only need a couple blokes to filch hundreds of millions of credit card details. Heck you might find them for free in the pub, on a commuter train, what-have-you. Hauling cash on the other hand, is bloody hard work.

        The big advantage with cash is that it's easy to count; you know exactly what you've got and if anything goes wrong you know exactly how much you lost. That determinism brings not security, but certainty.

        The more indirection you introduce, the fuzzier it gets. If that's what you want, well, you get the paper trail for free. As with all things privacy, that sort of thing only starts to hurt when it's far too late to do anything about it. And then you'll find that yes, you did have something to hide after all.

        Kudos for bringing up less security ("no need for pin") as an advantage to the electronic system though. I don't need to type a pin for cash either, and I never have to wonder just how much is left on the card. So what's the killer advantage of a plastic card that can be zapped with very little effort?

        On a tangentian note: The crooks that run the Dutch national public transport RFID card scheme found that people figured out how to break wide open the mifare classic chips used --but declined to replace them as being "too expensive" well after the oyster card had silently been upgraded from the exact same chip to a better one-- and that disabled suspected-tampered-with cards were easily re-enabled. So they're proposing to beef up the terminals a wee bit and zap suspect cards dead. This appears to be very little effort to upgrade on a standard reader. I'm just waiting for the havoc rogue software is going to cause there. And of course it'll be the customer's fault again, so no redress, and if it accidentally the whole economy, er, your banking cards, well, no skin off their nose.

        Anybody check whether, how, and at what cost you might recover monies left on a card that you no longer can use because of theft or loss or breakage? The above PT guys force you onto a card, force large reserves be kept, make the card unusable after five years tops (and sometimes deliver broken cards from the get go), and charge through the nose to recover credit through a paper-bound(!) slow-boat-to-china process clearly designed to make sure people don't bother. They're making^Wstealing quite a lot of money this way (tens of millions euros the last year already from a system that hasn't even been fully deployed yet) so it's easy to see why they like it. But why would I like it? I don't see it. In fact, it's hard to see upsides that don't taste like self-delusion.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge

          Not only that...

          ...but they've discontinued the use of paper tickets (strippenkart), so even casual visitors are forced to pay €10 (excluding any credit, natch) to buy a card that might only be used a couple of days.

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        arent cards normally in a wallet?

        That would mean they would be stolen and walla there are your card details

      3. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Not quite.

        Oyster cards had the same said about them. I can tell you that the first revisions were easy to clone, fake and edit and it was only because someone decided to reveal their techniques (against legal advice not to) that we actually KNOW that. Hell, I set up a MiFare-based system in the school I work in - I can tag in and out of the premises with my Oyster card - so the readers, writers, and cards are already "commodity" hardware which means that, like mag-stripe readers, the criminals have working examples to hack to their heart content.

        Hell, the "chip-and-pin" system was supposed to be infallible - that's why you *still* get card skimmers on ATM's - they are STILL reading the details off the card. And just because it's short-range for YOU on a standard reader doesn't mean that NO-ONE else can read it. RFID passports have a very similar technology and it's been demonstrated that you can read them from a comfortable distance with any sort of aerial and a decent RFID scanner. Hell, there are people hacking into Bluetooth enabled cars from streets away now to set off the alarms so that people leave them unsecured and then they can walk up and take them (my garage could read data from any OBD car with Bluetooth, for instance).

        Technically, even Wifi is only "short-range" but with a cantenna you can extend it to tens of kilometres. Bluetooth can be picked up from across the street without having to even try. Radio technology is, by definition, broadcasting whenever it's powered. The only difference with RFID is that it relies on being in range of an electromagnetic field to power itself and then just broadcasts normal radio. The RFID might only be powered in a short distance, but the resulting radio broadcast is no different to any other.

        You *can* even power RFID technology from a remote location, that's already been proved with the passport-hacks (where it's possible to sit in an airport lounge and just read everybody's passport as they walk past, without having anything on you that's obviously suspicious), but as long as the radio is powered, then the resulting signal can be picked up by anyone pointing an antenna at that point (hey - how often do you check surrounding buildings for aerials/dishes pointed in the direction of cashpoints / wireless-retailers that you use? - even if you need to be within an inch to power the RFID device, the signal it sends is readable from miles away if you have the right aerial aimed at the reader).

        The cost limit is neither here nor there. There is infinitely more mischief in having your card rescinded than in the amount they can steal from it - and £10 is £10 and if you're planning to "mug" someone, whether via real or virtual means, it's all profit and it just means you target more people at smaller transactions to avoid detection (and thus your chances of being hit go up - and the most likely way to do so is to point an aerial at a reader in a very busy area that gets lots of contactless plonkers all thinking they are safe. But your card(s) being cancelled for a few days because of rogue payments means that 88% of people would have NO way to pay for everyday items, if this articles headline is correct. And there are truly some people who don't even want the possibility of a £1 loss from their account, let alone a couple of hundred.

        Contactless is wireless. Treat it the same, because the hackers do and have demonstrated examples of doing just what you say there is "no chance" of, including in public streets. If you really want to have each card that's affected cancelled until you've received the bank's "tick here to say you authorised this transaction" sheet through the post, that's fine.

        Some people, though, research this things and find out exactly what IS possible rather than what SHOULD or SHOULDN'T be possible. Hint: All version 1 Mifare (Oyster) cards can be cloned remotely with the capture of a single transaction and a few minutes of processing time. Think of that next time you put a few thousand pounds worth of Travelcard on them, or use them to buy stuff at the local newspaper stand (as is becoming popular). If you're a big user of PAYG to pay for products, you probably *won't* notice that £1.99 transaction every day until a few weeks down the road, if at all. But that's not the point. The point is that they don't NEED to be contactless at all - if you have to get within 1cm of the reader anyway, why not just have a physical contact system that *can't* be sniffed remotely?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re:ATM skimmers

          in fairness to chip and pin, the skimmers are reading the details off the magstripe, not the chip. Cards will become a lot more secure once we can scrap that legacy.

          Unfortunately, if we did that, UK cards wouldn't work in the US.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            ATM skimmers again

            Actually, no. I don't know who you're shilling for (there does seem to be the odd bankster around here), but it's been repeatedly reported including by el reg that EMV is broken and can be skimmed. It's been known for several years, in fact.

            There do exist skimmers that snoop on the communication with the chip. Some of those things are smaller and harder to notice than the put-in-front magcard readers since they fit inside the card way, and don't even need a separate pin peeper. As in you really won't and couldn't have noticed they're there, and powered from inside the terminal they'll last longer to boot.

            Of course, there's big money and politics riding on the thing now, just like it took far too long to get around to replacing magstripes. That's no reason not to admit that big payment has fscked up big, again. That's what you get for designing for function and thinking that with "standard due dilligence" you've covered all your security bases. Now the crooks say: All your base are belong to us. HA HA HA HA. Too bad it is AGAIN the consumer that gets to foot the bill.

          2. Arthur Dent

            re:re:ATM Skimmers

            quote: "Unfortunately, if we did that, UK cards wouldn't work in the US."

            Don't blame the Americans - nor would they work in ATMs in much of Europe. My Euro debit card (on my Spanish bank account) has a word mag stripe, so I can't use it in most ATM's in Europe (that includes Spain - I'm not even sure that a damaged mag stripe lets a C&P card work in UK ATMs, there used to be something silly about reading the stripe to discover whether the card is C&P) until I get the bank to replace the card - which I have to collect from the bank branch in person (which seems a bit more secure than the setup for my UK debit card) which means I can't use it to get cash until I get back near where I'm based in winter - but I don't get problems in shops and restaurants if I want to use it, nor in car hire places, because they all disregard and connect to the chip.

            So I think it's going to be a very long time before we can drop that mag stripe regardless of what the US does. We need the banks in countries where everyone but the banks uses the chip-and-pin capabilities of the cards to use those capabilities too. Somehow I doubt if banks in Greece will be able to afford new ATM tech any time soon.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge


      Prepare the tinfoil wallets, although on a serious note as soon as I get one of these cards I am going to get a wallet that helps prevent such things.

  4. Richard 81


    "half of us discard pennies and tuppences as pointless, and a third have refused to buy cheap things for fear of breaking a note."

    Wouldn't it be nice to have so much money that you can afford a complete lack of common sense.

    1. JasonW

      I discard all my coins...

      ... into a litre Maß at the end of the day and use the contents for the "fun fund" - as it usually has about £250 in it when full that translates as a rather splendid day/weekend out (or some techy wizard gadget).

      Agree that pennies & twopences are pointless though, they dilute my litre of money :-)

  5. Tempest 3K
    Big Brother


    Haven't seen any of that in years, Government takes it all in taxes etc before it gets to me

    1. Day

      The government takes all of it?

      You might want to talk to an accountant.

      1. Tigra 07

        RE: Day

        Tempest appears to be paying the 100p rate of tax there, he's going to offset our pension fund losses, bank losses, and pay off the national debt just with his wage.

        Tempest must be a pseudonym for Rupert Murdoch or Bill Gates?

  6. mark 63 Silver badge

    hows this a new idea?

    Proximity payment card? thats one of those rfid cards?

    hows that better than my visa debit card?

    Shops get right irked when you use a card , as do the customers in the queue behind you. Putting an RFID chip on it isnt gonna fix that.


    In the building where i work if you wanna eat lunch you not only have to bring cash - you have to bring the right goddam change!!

    1. Pink Duck

      @mark 63

      Contactless payment with no authorisation for transactions under £15 GBP means no inserting card into a specific slot, no typing in a PIN number followed by an entry key, probably quicker than cash too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re; @mark63

        >with no authorisation

        Which is why I shredded the one Barclays sent me.

        15GBP isn't much but someone could knock up quite a charge before you realised it had gone missing. The bank would deny all liability for it's misuse, which in all fairness if you were stupid enough to accept the conditions of use they shold be able to as you've effectively lost cash.

        It's like someone nicking fifteen quid off you then getting an automatic top up with another fifteen.

      2. James Micallef Silver badge

        If it's PIN-less

        Why does it have to be contactless as well? It can still be a chip card inserted into a slot and pulled back out. If no PIN is required it will take the same time as contactless, without having any of the security issues that contactless has.

        Of course, the whole point of this system is to have it without authorisation, the stated aim of the system is to replace cash. From the point of view of banks and governments, the whole point of it is to replace cash with a traceable transaction record.

        1. mark 63 Silver badge


          its not the pin that takes the time

          its not the swiping it that takes the time

          its the connection line back to the bank or whatever the fuck it does in the background, so removing the swiping and the typing aint gonna solve it!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Not quite

            I work for a large retailer and we expect a 2 second authorisation time which is about the same as typing your PIN. Anyway C&P cards were designed to intermittently self-auth (assuming you are creditworthy).

            The thing that takes the time is the woman who packs away all her shopping with the sales assistant watching on and then thinks 'I need to pay' and spends ages rummaging around in a bag to find her card.

            Anyway, where I live I don't think we'll see any retailers taking contactless in the near future.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can beat that.

      We had smart cards at a place I worked.

      You took a tenner out the cash machine on site.

      Then topped up the card using a machine that refused cash on a completely random basis (i've seen it take completely moth-eaten notes, yet refuse perfectly good ones), and was always slow to have its firmware updated when notes changed.

      Then you paid with the smartcard.

      You could also pay by plastic, but you got treated with absolute contempt for it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm in the minority then

    I pay for all day to day purchases with cash including fuel and the weekly shop. But then again I don't have any debt unlike most people I know.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Me too!

      just so much quicker!

      1. Cubist Castle


        Quicker to walk to the fuel kiosk and queue to pay cash than to just do it at the machine by the pump? I'm surprised.

    2. TWB

      Re:I'm in the minority then

      I agree with you that having no debt is a good thing - whatever some economist might argue - though I sometimes wonder if the UK economy is so reliant on debt now, that if we all cleared our debts tomorrow (somehow) it would collapse.

      Well done paying off your mortgage* (if you had one) - 5 years to go for me....

    3. Joe Montana


      I also don't have any debt, but i still use credit cards for 99% of spending because they're more convenient...

      I get cashback on what i spend, only a small amount granted but i spend a lot on work expenses which get refunded by the company too so its effectively free money...

      Interest free debt can also be a good thing, take out a card with say a 10k limit and a years interest free, do your normal purchasing on it until you reach the limit but instead of paying off the bill every month put that money into a savings account. At the end of the year, pay off the card and keep the interest you earned in the account.

      I also finding counting out change, and carrying it around with me extremely inconvenient.

      Similarly while some shops and customers behind you may get annoyed if you try to pay with a card, i have seen many situations where people paying with cash have attracted similar negative attention especially when counting out large numbers of small coins.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Inconvenience in the eye of the beholder

        I spend time waiting in queue for a quick count of what's in the old wallet, so that I can easily optimise the transaction to encompass a minimum of coins and notes. That also means I get bigger change back and carry less coins. It averages to about one or two of each. In fact, it's more annoying to be out entirely than to have too much, as the latter is more easily fixable.

        Over here they immediately banned one and two eurocents as "inconvenient" where elsewhere they're happily using them. Having lived elsewhere too, I found that making change with one and two cents works exactly the same as with ten and twenty cents, if on a slightly different scale, so foregoing the small stuff just means retailers get to round. Yay them, greedy buggers.

        To me, handling cash is a basic skill that takes a little practice. But seeing the many, many people with deep credit card debts, I'd say that handling credit is much more treacherous and takes lots more discipline as well as practice, reading of Ts&Cs, wrangling credit card companies, and so on. Losing all your cash is painful but recoverable. Overspending on credit can land you into modern-day debt peonage that is much harder to recover from. Cash, in short, I see as simpler and therefore cheaper to me. Risks and all.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Cask is king

      I have notes in a clip and coins in a coin tray. I don't really spend the coins and save them in a jar at the end of the day. Every few months I pay the coins in at the bank and buy 1oz silver coins with the money.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Minority, yes. Alone, no.

      The thing about common sense is that it is surprisingly uncommon.

  8. gaz 7

    I hardy carry any cash...

    just enough to be able to buy a Macdonalds or summat flakey from Greggs without the Wife spotting it on the statements....

  9. Paul Shirley

    ...and the rest of us drink

    I try to not carry much cash because of it's astonishingly short half life if brought near a pub...

  10. Anonymous Coward


    I got one of these proximity cards from Barclays when my last card expired.

    It's been a nightmare, as the Oystercard readers on London Underground think this card is a second Oystercard.

    If this card in in your wallet with your Oystercard, you will not be let through the gates.

    You will get an error, which when investigated by LU, is something like "You have presented 2 Oystercards, and the system cannot handle this scenario"

    1. bluesxman

      RE: FAIL

      Isn't that just a shit implementation of card validation on the part of the Oyster system?

      If you don't get a similar problem when using your bank card in a contactless fashion with an Oyster next to it then I'd have to infer "yes".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If so...

        ... then it's a system failure that's offloaded onto the customer. This is quite common with systems that try their level best to turn customers into cash cows.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Your contactless payment card is picked up by Oyster terminals? Really?

          I carry three RFID cards in my wallet: the contactless payment card (which I never use), the office security card that gets me through the doors at work and the printing card that gets me my printouts at work. If I ever wave the wrong one at the reader nothing happens, not even a beep or failure light. I'm told this is because the differet systems work at different frequencies. So if what you say is true, your bank and Oyster are using the same frequency and presumably similar codes in order that the Oyster terminal would think your bank card was an Oyster card.

          I know it's not beyond the bounds of credibility, but I'm still having trouble with it.

          1. Vulch

            Corner cutting

            It's not usually different frequencies but part of the encryption and identification. Oyster decided to skip part of the standard when writing their system so another card near an Oyster reader will cause problems, but other readers that have implemented the standard in full have no problem ignoring the Oyster card as they should.

          2. JEDIDIAH

            RFID cards run amok...

   sounds like wallets need to be turned into Farraday cages.

            Come on Think Geek.

            Next by next April you should have one as a gag, and have it as a shipping product by next June.

            1. TakeTheSkyRoad

              Already there...

              Stainless Steel Wallet ?


              or basic RFID Blocking Wallet ?


              "More comfortable than aluminum foil in your pants."

    2. Anonymous Coward

      It's the Oyster system - not the cards

      If I put my wallet anywhere near an Oyster reader, it freaks out.

      I have 3 RFID cards in there. Both of the other systems I have cards for work perfectly fine when presented with all the cards at once, but the Oyster readers will have none of it.

      The only solution I found was to put the Oyster card in one side of my wallet, and the two that play nice together in the other. Now I have to open my wallet to touch in though, which isn't ideal.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    And don't get me started on..

    .. those stupid [1] machines in supermarkets that scream "exchange all your coins for cash!!!". Leaving aside the nerd point that the original cash *was* coins (Chinese strings of cash - which is why their old coins have holes in them), they *charge* for the privelige. And now give out 'supermarket tokens' which you have to go to the customer service desk in the suprmarket to redeem..

    Just goes to prove there's one born every minute.

    [1] Probably refers more to the people who use them rather than the machines themselves

    1. Duncan Watts

      RE: And don't get me started on..

      Just pay for your 50p chocolate bar with £30 of change in the self service machine and you will be presented with a lovely note based change incurring no charge (apart from odd looks...) Works in the Morrisons ones at least...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Tried that at lunchtime

        And the machine just stopped accepting coins after it hit 50p. The little belt that sucks the coins in stopped once it had counted 50p and the few excess coins it had sucked in got dropped out of the change drawer.

  12. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Count me in

    I rarely use cash for anything. Pretty much everything is put on plastic. That was true even before I started buying everything online.

    1. Nigel 11
      Big Brother

      Count me out

      There's a huge difference between putting most of my transactions (by value) on my credit card (I do) and not carrying any cash at all. I find it very hard to believe that anyone really doesn't.

      How do you do an office whip-around with plastic? How do you give a bit of pocket-money to a child? How do kids do sponsored things for charity in future?

      And then there's the elephant in the room. The audit trail. Dumb cash doesn't have one, so there's nothing for journalists, private investigators, jealous spouses, bunny-boiling exes, etc. to make trouble with. Say hello to e-cash without any alternative, and (whatever they say), say goodbye to financial privacy.

      Yes, I know it's possible to do trail-less e-cash. I'm just quite certain that a few years after the old sort of cash disappears, the new sort will be modified to introduce a trail, to "protect the children" or "help fight terrorism" or any of the other usual suspects.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bucking fankers

    I wonder why banks want to promote a cashless society?

    Getting cash out of the hole in the wall costs banks money, using a card makes banks money.

    I use cash a lot, it's accepted everywhere, it's fast and I don't want to give the corporates more info on me than they have already.

    It spoils the line of your clothes... WTF. 9% of people need to remove whatever it is that's sticking up their ass, it's doing more than spoiling the line of their sweatshop made designer shite.

  14. shakey

    Public transoprt

    When was the last time anyone saw a bus that took card payments (possibly excluding those shelfish things London has)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      When last visiting Stockholm. They take credit cards on buses, but don't accept cash. Funny, the Swedes.

      1. Steen Hive


        Not funny, smart - drivers were getting pretty pissed off with being robbed on buses.

  15. Adrian Jones

    Barclaycard OnePulse

    I've had one for a while now, but all I've ever paid for on it were tube and bus journeys.

    When I first got it, I checked their website for shops around me that took contactless payments, but all I found was a charity shop, and a café, neither of which actually had a reader.

    There appear to be a lot more shops and pubs around with it now, but I still don't remember seeing any readers out there.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I pay for almost nothing with cash. I still had £20 from a night out left over on Saturday and I've still got £5 left.

    I tend to make it obvious I'm paying with card, so they prepare for the card payment, then it's a two second job. I find chip and pin in most cases faster than a cash transaction, unless you have the exact amount. Plus you don't have to rely on a staff member to be able to give the correct change.

    1. Nuke
      Thumb Down

      @ AC "asda9unka;srukbjksdfmn"

      Wrote :- "I tend to make it obvious I'm paying with card, so they prepare for the card payment, then it's a two second job."

      I call BS. How exactly do you "make it obvious"? Wear a flag on your hat? Shout it out as you approach the cashier? Why is the cashier going to take any notice when they are busy dealing with the queue in front of you?

      And how exactly does the cashier "prepare"? The reader is already there on the counter and you just stick your card in it when they say do it.

      It still takes longer than cash. As someone said, often the limitation with the card is it communicating with your bank while you and the cashier wait.

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    Wave to pay.

    Nothing new, been around for years:

    End of the curry house part of a stag do.




    As I recall, this works best if everyone remembers to grab their jackets.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More Fun

      It's more of a laugh to actually pay up at the desk when your mates think you're at the toilet and then say "runner" when you get back to the table. Watching them all try to squeeze out of the exit at once while the bemused staff look on is priceless.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Is it possible

    to damage/destroy the contactless function, leaving the Chip & PIN?

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge

      I believe so

      I destroyed my first card with sandpaper (to expose the connections and stuff), and the contactless coil has 2 connections to the chip. If you drilled 0.5mm or larger holes halfway through the card at those points, just outside the chip contact area, you'd effectively disable the contactless without damaging the chip itself.

      *note, I have NOT tried this myself.

  19. metalrhubarb

    credit card

    My credit card is a budgeting tool for shopping and petrol. I carry very little cash, maybe a tenner and a few pound coins for when a card is inappropriate. Any change I collect goes in a cash box, at the end of the month it gets counted and deposited in the bank.

    I don't even know how to make proximity payments?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    "will track every penny we spend"

    Three days after you've spent it, meaning that when you spend £20 and check your balance and you've still got £20, you spend the £20 and then three days later the other £20 comes out.

    Which is why I use cash. Until the banks will either

    a) show you a balance on the Chip & PIN reader (at your request)

    b) be able to show accurate balances

    c) stop authorising transactions without reserving the amount in your bank

    d) stop showing the balance rather than the available balance

    then I see no reason to adopt some percentage-giving price-inflating technology.

    Mine's the one with twenties in.

    1. DragonLord

      New Bank?

      Can I suggest that you change banks, as my bank (HSBC) does all of that, and also shows any pending DD/SO's that are due to come out of your account in the next business day...

      1. TakeTheSkyRoad

        HSBC ?

        You must be with a different HSBC to me then as generally I find they happily authorise payments regardless of my actual balance. Of course they then charge you so I've resorted to checking my online banking every few days. Doubt they are any better or worse than the rest though !

        I do run more than one current account though which I would recommend to everyone. My main account which my wages goes into comes with a card but I shreded that ages ago, I have a second current account which I carry the card for and periodically gets topped up. This way the card I carry with me never has a balance of more than say 150 quid :)

        As said I need to watch it like a hawk though since it the balance drops too far I will be charged, never seen a switch payment rejected by them !

        Of course it doesn't help that some busineses take their time submitting payments for processing. Payments made over seas I've sometimes seen take a full 7 days to leave my account.

  21. Neil Lewis

    Lots of retailers DON'T like cards

    There are two main reasons:

    - The pound of flesh extracted from each and every transaction by the processors.

    - Chargebacks, often for nothing which is any fault of the retailer.

    Use of cards for everything necessarily adds a few percentage points of extra costs per transaction, making everything slightly more expensive over time. Of course, the banks are happy to take their cut of every sale, so of course they're keen to encourage that.

    As for 'not wanting to pay for cheap items with cash', that's exactly when it's most useful and also when the card processors fees add the biggest overhead, since they mostly charge a flat fee+a percentage of the total value. That's why many retailers refuse cards for small amounts. Those transactions could actually have a net profit margin close to zero.

    I won't argue that cards can be a useful tool for some types of purchase, especially those made over the internet. And retailers can always use the availability of credit to drive extra sales, but we all pay for that in the end.

    1. /dev/rant

      Re: Lots of retailers DON'T like cards

      Do you know the cost of handling cash? It is a lot more expensive than paying a small percentage to the bank such as:

      You need to be able to safely transport it to a bank (cost),

      Manually reconcile the register to cash taken,

      Cost of insuring against "hold ups",

      violence against staff,

      cost of preventing hold ups

      Always be on the look out for counterfeit notes.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge


        There's at least one supermarket in Amsterdam (Marqt) that does not accept cash at all, cards only

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          At that same place...

          ... if you try to pay by credit card, they'll demand your ID card. And if you thought chip+pin is better, the banks are required by law to keep a copy of your passport on file. This is supposed to help against terrorism. Of course they'll also keep neat track of who you gave monies, where, when, for at least some seven years or so.

          To me that's more reason to pay cash (and never pay the marqt fucks a visit, nevermind spend anything there) and reason for the Dutch National Bank to chair a committee of retailers and such with the express mission of banning all cash.

    2. Annihilator

      re: not liking card

      As pointed out, cash costs just as much if not more to handle than plastic. However, any retailer that knows what they're doing has already factored the costs of financial reconciliation into their overheads, be it cash or plastic. There is *always* a transaction fee, be it cheque, card, cash etc, it's just hidden somewhere that's quite difficult to extract and explicitly say "this is more expensive".

  22. Daemon Byte

    since moving to Norway

    I haven't used cash in an eon. The assumption here is you will use a card or you will get a dodgy look from everyone like you were trying to barter. Even if it's as little as a £1. Bout time the UK caught up with the modern world. A card is far easier to use and more secure.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re. since moving to Norway

      WTF can you buy in Norway for a pound? Last time I went to Stavanger I paid £65 for a one-course meal and a beer!

      Also; what percentage of the non-cash carriers are married men?

  23. jake Silver badge

    Energy bills[1], business expenses[2] & critter chow/bedding on the card.

    Damn near everything else cash.

    Why? Because it helps my CPA fiddle my taxes at the end of the year ... Yes, I keep the receipts for the "damn near everything else" portion; it's all legal. I think :-)

    I'll never carry one of those "proximity payment" thingies. Too much to go wrong.

    [1]gas(petrol), diesel, electricity, propane ...

    [2] Tools, equipment, travel, etc.

  24. Peter Clarke 1

    Justa One Corrrnetto, Geeve Eet To Meee!

    Yet to see a travelling ice cream van with contactless technology. Just what do you do when you (or your kids) hear the chimes and you realise you have no cash? Talking of kids, how are they going to get their pocket money or reward from the tooth fairy? Won't someone think of the children??

  25. Bill Gould


    I haven't carried cash over here in the colonies for years. It used to be bank debit card (cash directly from my account), but as more and more vendors accept it I've been using my credit card for everything. Coffee for $1.25? Credit card.

    My credit card company uses PayPass which is the name of their NFT system, but I can still use the chip even if the vendor doesn't support NFT yet.

    To me, cash died in the 90's.

  26. Christoph

    We must use cards!

    If you use cash, all the money goes to the retailer. Only if you use a card can the bankers get a cut of every single transaction you make. And if they don't get a cut of everything, how can they keep their bonuses up? Do you want them to have to scrape by on less than a million a year?


  27. Tigra 07


    Are these 12% illegals or just on the dole?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re. Are these 12% illegals or just on the dole?

      Married men with kids.

  28. Dexter Berlekey

    Am I now completely old fashioned?

    Am I now behind the times in still quite liking cash? It's quick, I can give it to someone when it's my round so I can take a slash and beers can be got in at the same time. It's doesn't crash on a Sunday afternoon and stop my buying anything at all and works in all taxis.

    People say it's a hassle getting cash out, but I just get a ton or 2 at a time and then only go a couple of times a month.

    Don't get me wrong, cards a great at the station, supermarket etc. but anything less than a tenner or so is a cash item in my book.


  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't even have a bank account.

    I pay for absolutely everything with cash. I never leave the house without at least a grand in cash.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Having a bit of cash on you or hidden in the car round the corner is perfect for those occasions when you are out and about or at the pub and someone you know is selling something (legit) cheap for a quick sale. I've picked up all manor of tech this way, some of which I've sold on and some of which I've kept.

  30. Sooty

    the best part about cash

    it can be used in transactions between any two people, it doesn't have to involve a retailer.

    On a coffee run at work, everyone just hands over a couple of quid, they don't have to log onto an online banking site and transfer the money from their account to mine before i set off.

    also, if i get a takeaway delivered, generally it's for a small group of friends. Either we all do an individual order, and pay with 6-7 cards over the phone, or we just hand the driver a bundle of fivers when he arrives.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'It Just Works' (TM)

    Cash is the most flexible payment method. No one ever refuses cash. Many small newsagents don't take card, many places require a minimum order value before accepting card to make up for the transaction fees, card takes longer (waiting for the machine), you can't tip with card, you can't pay for a black cab with a card, and you can haggle with lump sum cash.

    Cash will live on because unlike most 'high-tech' payment methods, 'it just works.'

  32. david 12 Silver badge

    I'd be happy with coin if....

    I'd be happy with coin if....they got rid of everything smaller than a dollar, and made the coins smaller again.

    A dollar today is worth somewhere around what 2c was worth when the AUS currency was decimilised. So 5c change now would be 0.1c then. This value is too small to be useful, it just makes coin transactions more difficult, and carrying change more trouble.

    By the way, the papers here in Melb AUS have recently suggested that Myki, the Melbourne equivilant to Oyster and other tap cards, might be used in taxis -- way to late to market to attract coffee or petrol sales, so they are hoplessly looking for other transations where they might be able to force people to use it.

  33. Christian Berger

    How many of those 12% are little children?

    When I was a child I didn't carry money around with me. Why should I?

  34. Dick Emery
    Paris Hilton


    ...if there is no cash where are prostitutes going to swipe your card? Don't answer that.

  35. Anonymous Coward


    What a lot of people don't realise, is that when you pay for your meal on a card, and the machine asks you to add a tip, if you click yes, not only is the waiter/waitress unlikely to get the tip, but the proprieter will have to pay 16.7% of that tip as VAT to HMRC. Plus any that goes to any staff is subject to PAYE, as is any the proprieter pockets themselves.

    If you pay cash directly to the waiter/waitress, they get to keep it and don't have to pay anything to HMRC. Nothing dodgy. That's the rule.

    So basically, 16.7% of the contents of a tip jar are supposed to belong to HMRC. Along with whatever tax is paid by each employee who gets a share. This is because the employer has been deemed to have received the money as payment and then paid it out as wages. So it's taxable.

    This may be slightly wrong by the way. i'm not an expert (I'm an IT guy, funnily enough). Just live with someone who is :-)

    (Anonymous because this is quite sad, really.)

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: VAT

      Er, not according to:

      No VAT is charged on tips at all (though there is a difference between a tip and an "optional service charge", that doesn't seem to affect VAT). However, tips are subject to income tax in the manner you specify (i.e. cash tip = untaxable, anything else = taxable).

      That said, even handling that money as an employer can make it taxable, cash or not, and seeing as most places operate a tip-sharing scheme, it's all pretty academic. (The flow diagram on the last page pretty much sums everything up).

      Basically, though you might be right, it's not my problem to represent the people who have negotiated a work contract (legally required to be above the NMW) and some form of agreement as regards tips. Many places have to share tips, some have them allocated in certain portions, some even have them go straight to the company (cash or not!) - your tip is in no way guaranteed to go to that person and it might be against their company's code of conduct to accept a tip personally (i.e. they nod and smile and thank you, then have to put it into a big jar in the kitchen, out of sight of the customers, or face charges of theft). You might think your tip is rewarding an extraordinary service from someone when in fact it just goes into a pot, part of which that awful OTHER waitress gets - and maybe even a bigger share because she waits more tables.

      And, to be honest, one of the best ways to ensure you don't get a tip is to ask for one (either on paper, or in person with some form of gesture or hesitation), beaten only by including it on my bill (or even suggesting how much it should be!) without my express request. I don't tip via card purely because it's a pain in the arse (and also because I consider it rude for the person serving me to know I've tipped them, or how much until I've left). Whether it's taxable or not isn't my problem and there are a million and one obscure rules that blur the clear line of "cash = goes into that person's pocket, tax-free".

      But then, I'm one of those horrible people who doesn't tip if the service wasn't up to scratch. Nothing more hilarious than seeing some old couple fuss over how much to tip to the awful waitress who was rude to them all night, like the world would end if they got the percentage wrong.

  36. ravenviz Silver badge

    Average wallet

    I have £30.01 in my wallet / coin tray. I usually top up to £50 when I pass an ATM, it's enough to get by. I prefer cash in bars, use cards in petrol stations and supermarkets. Trains take cards, and Oyster for the tube. Ice cream vans and kebab shops take cash only anyway. AFAIK my bank has not introducted contactless but I did get a new (other provider's) credit card with it on it, even though I don't use the account. I presume that means it's 'cash' and they can put their immediate cash interest onto it. No thanks.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: Average wallet

      Now I have £29.41 due to having bough a chocolate bar from the vending machine in the canteen. Doesn't even take notes.

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