Is a cashless society really on the cards?

As a nation, we spent over £3.9bn in a single month recently1  using contactless cards, and on an everyday basis we’re using cashless solutions to pay for everything from bus tickets to restaurant bills.  Trendspotter and futurologist Magnus Lindkvist believes we’re “at a tipping point” on the path to a cashless society – and this is one trend we can’t ignore. Here’s why.

The cashless society trend is happening on a global scale. The popularity of mobile banking and contactless payments show that we’re living the change right now. Complete cashlessness in the UK won’t happen for a few decades, I believe –  but in five years’ time we’ll look back and be astounded as to how far we’ve come.


108m contactless cards

have been issued in the UK - an increase of more than 20% in a year

Source: UK Cards Association

Technology is the main driver. The miniaturisation of powerful computers – smartphones – has given people real-time control over their money and the power to perform complex financial transactions easily, securely and at an amazing speed. It’s easy, convenient and incredibly accessible.


Four out of five UK adults

now have a smartphone - that's 37 million people

Source: Deloitte

Banks play their part too. They want to offer products and services before their customers even ask for them. They’re like DJs –  they have to stay ahead of the trends. In this case, that means delivering smart tools for people who’re interested in cashless, and lots of people are.

Right now, that includes mobile banking apps, contactless cards – tools that give people greater freedom and convenience, while also giving them visibility and control over their money.


Did you know

With the Lloyds Bank Mobile Banking app you can pay a contact using just their mobile phone number.

Of course, others are less comfortable with it and banks have an important role there too, to support their customers whatever their comfort zone may be.

But the great thing about going cashless, or just taking a step in that direction, is that it’s very inclusive and you don’t need to be very technologically minded. Smartphones, apps, contactless cards – these tools are designed to be user-friendly and can simplify your life.


About the Author

Magnus Lindkvist is a trendspotter, futurologist and author of 'Minifesto', 'Everything We Know Is Wrong', 'The Attack of the Unexpected' and 'When the Future Begins'. He is an active member of TED and experienced keynote speaker. Find out more about Magnus (you'll leave the Lloyds Bank website)


Useful links

Discover the freedom of our:

Mobile Banking app

Contactless debit cards

Contactless credit cards

The view from Lloyds Bank

Gilad Amir, Head of Fintech Discovery

The UK is often stated to be moving towards a ‘cashless society’ and certainly research2  shows cash payments reducing.

At Lloyds Banking Group, we watch global trends closely and are working with the financial technology – or FinTech – world, investigating things like biometrics and other exciting new technologies. We’ll be there to guide our customers through any future changes, ensuring they can continue to pay for things in a secure and convenient way.

Did you know

By the end of 2017 Lloyds Banking Group will have invested £1bn on its digital capabilities since 2015.

Ready for cashless or just less cash?

Here’s two ways you can make paying for goods simpler and swifter by cutting your use of cash:

1. Go Contactless

Contactless cards allow you to pay for goods up to £30 without needing to enter your PIN. Find out more about our cards.

2. Go Mobile

Millions of customers use our Mobile Banking app each week, to:

  • Stay in control: check transactions and balances
  • Increase convenience: pay a contact on the move, for example
  • Stay secure: replace lost or stolen cards, order a new PIN or change a password in an emergency.

 Find out more about Lloyds Bank Mobile Banking.


1. April 2017. Source: UK Cards Association
2. Source: Payments UK