Friday, 11 December 2015

Peak Card

Are we approaching peak card?

Figures from the card providers trade group, UK Cards, show that payments by card have more than doubled in a decade to £566bn a year.

Use in pubs has multiplied 5 times. People seem to be happy to use contactless debit or credit cards to buy sandwiches, coffees and papers.

Some carry no cash their wallets or purses. They can be genuinely flummoxed if a shop doesn't accept payment by card.

So much so that commentators never tire of predicting the death of cash, or at least its long term decline.

However, surely it is much more likely that we will see the death of cards before we see the death of cash?

Any user of Apple Pay, Barclays bPay and a host of upcoming rivals will tell you that it is possible to pay electronically while leaving your cards at home.

For a good while, most people will take several methods of payment with them, including cards.

But the writing is on the wall. The card itself is just a way of carrying a chip - and the chip can easily be mounted on something else or replaced by the wireless capabilities of a mobile phone.

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