Cash Becoming Obsolete as Digital and Contactless Payments Increase

October 12, 2015, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Payment transaction with smartphone

The world is quickly shifting to digital and contactless payments.

According to the 2015 World Payments Report, there were a staggering 390 billion non-cash transactions made throughout the world in 2014. This was an increase of 8.9% versus year ago levels, and a 45% jump from 2009.

The study focused on purchase data from different parts of the world and was done as a joint venture between the Royal Bank of Scotland and Capgemini.

The data revealed people in Finland made the most non-cash transactions. The average person makes 450 cash-free payments during the year. The United States finished with the second highest level of non-cash payments with an average of 390 transactions per person.

To put this into perspective, consider that China only had an average of 50 non-cash transactions per person in 2013. That was 37% higher than the data from 2012. One of the main contributing factors to this growth is the increase of mobile payment technology around the world and the increase in mobile phones in rural areas of China.

As non-cash payments continue to rise, payments by check continue to decline. In 2013, checks accounted for only 13% of non-cash payments in North America. The report projects that by 2025, there will be less than five billion checks written worldwide, down from 25 billion in 2013.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 12, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.