The UK will become a cashless society within the next 15 years unless the government takes action, according to the Access to Cash Review.
The Review, which published its final report a year ago, said action is needed to protect cash for as long as people need it. However, 12 months on issues with the country’s cash infrastructure remain, the Review now adds.
The Review was set up by ATM network provider Link to help understand how consumers use cash and how behaviours will change over the next five to 15 years.
It previously predicted that society would be at the point of being ‘virtually cashless’ by 2035, with fewer than 10% of transactions being made in cash. Over the past year, 13% of free UK ATMs have closed as they have become ‘economically unviable’.
Commenting on the report, Natalie Ceeney, Independent Chairwoman of the Access to Cash Review, said: ‘The UK is fast becoming a cashless society – without knowing what this really means for consumers or for the UK economy. Many people may want a completely digital future, but we need to make sure that this shift doesn’t leave millions behind or put our economy at risk.
‘Commercial pressures on all businesses mean that we cannot rely on the status quo, and we can see serious strains emerging.’