Payments in 2022: Cash out, mobile in

Gazing into its crystal ball, the UK’s Payments Council predicts that Brits will turn their backs on cash over the next 10 years as plastic cards continue their ascent and mobile money becomes a mainstream player.

The number of cash payments made in the UK will fall by a third from 21 billion in 2012 to around 14 billion in 2022, predicts the Council in a new report.

For cheques the picture is even bleaker, with the number of consumer transactions expected to plummet from 477 million in 2012 to 186 million in 2022. The Council wanted to kill of cheques by 2018 but has been forced to keep them limping along by politicians.

In contrast, consumer card use will rise by 75% from nearly 10 billion payments in 2012 to around 17 billion in 2022, with debit, rather than credit, driving the growth.

Mobile payments and Internet banking will help drive up consumer use of one-off payments from their accounts from 356 million payments in 2012 to around 1.5 billion in 2022.

Some of this will be enabled by the Payments Council’s own mobile service, which will let people send account to account transfers using phone numbers when it launches next year.

Direct Debit use by consumers will grow steadily, by 20% to around 3.7 billion payments in 2022, driven by increased uptake of new regular commitments and a growth in the size of the adult population.

Adrian Kamellard, chief executive, Payments Council, says: “It’s fascinating to see how much of the groundwork we’re laying down now will work out in 2022. The next few years will be an exciting time for the payments industry.

“Over the coming decade we will see major innovation with the introduction of our Mobile Payments Service in 2014, the Current Account Switch Service next month and of course all the innovations brought to market by individual players within the payments field.”