Cash machines are disappearing from the streets of Britain at a rate of 300 per month. Now, debit cards have, for the very first time, overtaken cash usage – with 13.2 billion transactions to 13.1 billion.
Like it or not, it feels as if we’re drifting towards a society that shuns cash in favour of digital transactions. But how do you even start to go cashless now – especially when you’re used to jangling for coins or slipping notes into a machine?
Here are four ways to get started on giving up cash…
Start a budget
One of the big benefits of using cash over digital payments is that it’s tangible: you can see, at a glance, how much you have left – and you’re sure to feel it when you have to shell out on your latest purchase.
As such, if you’re planning on scrapping cash usage, it’s worth setting up a realistic budget. Ensure you complete it accurately, and often, so you can track everything you spend just as easily as you can when opening up your wallet or purse.
Set up internet banking
Thanks to internet banking, it’s even easier to kiss goodbye to cash. If you haven’t already, head over to your bank’s website and register for online banking – if you have multiple accounts with the bank, you can link them all together.
Once done, you can take control over all your finances digitaly, whether it’s paying bills or sending money – all without slipping your card into an ATM.
Get a contactless debit card
Another reason why cash has lasted so long is its convenience – especially for quick purchases at the shop. Happily, contactless debit cards provide the digital equivalent of the spare change in your pocket.
Most modern debit and credit cards let you simply tap and pay at plenty of stores. You can spend up to £30 per transaction, making it a great way to pay on the go, just as you would with that few quid in your pocket.
…And set up smartphone payments
Once you’ve gotten used to going contactless – rather than rooting around at the bottom of your bag for that pound coin you just know is there – start thinking about how to integrate your smartphone into the equation.
Both Google and Apple offer payment methods that can be used both online and in-store, using NFC technology locked inside your phone.
That’s the same stuff that works in contactless cards, and makes it even easier to quit out on cash. In addition to contactless payments, you can also use text messages to pay for things like parking tickets. Which is handy!
Use apps to pay friends and family
Whether it’s movie tickets or a restaurant bill, sometimes you’re likely to have to pay your pals and relatives. Instead of digging around for the exact change when splitting a bill, just use smartphone apps to pay up.
So long as you’re both connected on Facebook Messenger, you can pay your mates that way. It’s secure and quick. However, alternatives exist, like the popular PayPal. Perfect for those quick, last-minute payments without faffing around for money.