Record number of pensioners use contactless sparking fears over future of cash

Record number of pensioners use contactless sparking fears over future of cash

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Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 27/02/2024

- 10:59

Updated: 27/02/2024

- 12:05

Barclays research has found older pensioners are increasingly using contactless to pay rather than chip and PIN

Barclays has forecast a “greater shift” to using mobile wallets to pay following a rise in the use of contactless payments among pensioners.

The majority of pensioners are increasingly using contactless payments instead of chip and PIN card payments, according to new research from one of the country’s biggest banks.

The proportion of active users of this payment method among 85 to 95-year-olds exceeded 80 per cent for the first time, a survey carried out by Opinium found.

Over 65s in the UK were the fastest growing group for contactless usage for the third year in a row.

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Woman using contactless payment and Barclays branch

Barclays's survey suggests older people are using contactless payments more often


Karen Johnson, the head of retail at Barclays, said: “In 2024, we expect to see a greater shift to payments using mobile wallets, as more bricks-and-mortar businesses integrate the technology into their customer experience.

“Many of our hospitality and leisure clients are finding success by giving customers the ability to order and pay from their table by scanning a QR code.”

Data from Barclays has revealed that a record 93.4 per cent of in-store debit and credit card transactions of up to £100 were made using contactless payments last year.

Overall, consumers made 231 transactions and spent around £15.69 usually each time with the average shopper spending £3,260 using contactless payments over the period.

While the gap between older and younger Britons using contactless is narrowing, the payment method remains more popular with younger people in the UK, the survey found.

Just three per cent of over-75s said they prefer using mobile payments compared to physical cards.

A quarter people aged between 18 to 34-year-olds said they prefer to use their phone for payments instead.

More than a fifth of Britons in this age demographic regularly leave their wallet behind when shopping, instead choosing to use their smartphone.

Cash withdrawals in Post Office

GB News has previously reported on peoples concerns with the move from cash to contactless


In comparison, only one per cent of Britons aged 75 or over would leave their wallet at home when going out to the shops.

Around 18 per cent of people polled revealed that they had trouble remembering their PIN, however 78 per cent prefer to use chip and pin when buying items over £100.

Pierce Linney, the co-founder of Implement AI, spoke with GB News earlier today about why cash has potentially “had its day”.

He explained: “The reason banks are closing is because nobody is using them. My mum, she’s in her eighties, she doesn’t want to be fumbling around with cash.

“We are living in an age when technology is something which improves our lives. We want frictionless payments.”

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