UK consumers are increasingly taking advantage of the wide range of payment choices available to them. And that’s incredibly exciting for the future of networks such as cryptocurrencies, according to temtum Founder and CEO, Richard Dennis.
UK Finance’s latest UK Payment Markets report found that 48% of Brits used mobile banking in 2018, up from 41% the previous year. The number of bank payments made via online or mobile banking in 2018 hit two billion, up from 1.6 billion in 2017. By the end of 2018, an estimated 8.5 million people were registered to buy goods and services with mobile services such as Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Having overtaken cash in 2017, debit cards remained the most frequently used payment method in 2018, accounting for nearly 40% of all payments. This has been in part driven by the growing popularity of contactless, which notched up 7.4 billion payments in 2018, an increase of 31% on the previous year.
Cash remains the second most popular method in the UK. It accounted for 28% of payments in 2018 and is forecast to still be used for one in ten in a decade’s time. “The same pick ‘n’ mix approach people now take when it comes to music, television or the news is expanding into payments, as consumers take advantage of new technologies to pay in a way that suits them,” says Stephen Jones, Chief Executive at UK Finance.
“This rapid rate of technological change is set to continue over the coming decade, as people embrace the ever-widening number of ways to pay and manage their finances, depending on their needs and lifestyle. However, technology is not for everyone and cash remains a payment method that is valued and preferred by many, so maintaining access to cash will be vital to ensure no customer is left behind.”
‘Cryptocurrencies are becoming a viable use in everyday life’
There’s a very real risk that note and coins are going to be harder to get access to, certainly at no charge if ATM providers are struggling to stay relevant, temtum’s Dennis believes. The increase in contactless payment usage and the use of debit cards is great news for the crypto space, he adds.
“While regulators and governments still scramble to work out how to handle the growth of digital currencies in the best way, the technology is actually moving at pace towards integrations with existing contactless payment gateways – meaning cryptocurrencies are becoming a viable use in everyday life. Digital currencies will work long-term and finally some do work now,” Dennis comments.
“The fear from the public should not be targeted at new methods of payments like cryptocurrencies, although it’s completely understandable and will be a long education process for the masses. But rather, how will the traditional world of finance make managing your money more challenging, more expensive and put roadblocks in the way of a simpler, cheaper and more effective financial future through crypto?”