Pay it forward

In 2006, 62% of all payments in the UK were made using cash; by the end of 2016 this had fallen to 40% and by the middle of 2018, debit card had overtaken cash as the country’s favourite way to pay, with 3.5 million people stating they never use cash. Whilst we may never be a completely cashless society, it is safe to say that the decline of cash continues to be steady, with UK Finance predicting that by 2026 cash will be used for just 21% of transactions.

But what does this mean for those reliant on cash? If we are cashless, how can we ensure that tips go to the right people, that buskers get paid, that the homeless can pay for shelter and food, and that people continue to consciously donate to charity? With the focus on making payments a digital, seamless and intuitive procedure, have we inadvertently taken the emotion out of e-payments?

The charity sector is set to lose billions with the decline in popularity of cash. According to a report by the Charities Aid Foundation, cash remains the primary method of donation and the decline in the number of people with change on their person has meant that there are less people donating in general. Over 70 per cent of charities have seen a decrease in cash donations over the last three years, according to survey results published by the Institute of Fundraising. 

Despite this, according to a recent study by Tech Trust, 59% of UK charities still do not have a digital strategy in place. It is imperative that charities seek to counter the affect the decline in cash usage has on their funding in order to sustain and grow their reach.