A recent poll conducted by assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services provider EY has concluded that cash will no longer be the preferred method of payment by 2030.

Conducted at SIBOS featuring a range of financial services professionals, the results reveal a clear caution towards the digital revolution, with many respondents showing their  concerns over financial inclusion, data security and privacy.

In total, 96% of respondents believe that digital payments will be the dominant form of payment in 2030 – with 59% believing mobile payments will be the most common against the 31% who chose biometrics.

36% of all respondents cited social exclusion as the most negative impact of a cashless society but perhaps most noticeably, 100% of those based in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Australasia agreed the same.

In comparison to European-based respondents (38%) and North American (33%) reveals a clear difference in regional operations and concerns.

Jan Bellens, EY Global Banking & Capital Markets Sector Leader, said: “As we enter this new monetary world, financial institutions play an integral role in the protection of personal financial data.

“Investing in greater cybersecurity measures and educating consumers on the safe use of digital payments will help build the trust necessary for more widespread adoption of cashless payment options.”

If society continues its journey to digitisation, respondents believe the main benefits of a cashless economy come in the form of convenience (39%) and financial crime prevention (36%).

Areas such as increased potential for cyber risk (20%), mass outages (20%) and costs faced by the business sector (8%) also featured as causes for concern in developing regions. 

Bellens concluded: “Markets around the world are transitioning to cashless transactions at different rates as regulatory discussions, consumer buy-in and technologies vary by region. 

“Despite these differences, cashless transactions are increasing, and financial institutions have an opportunity to work closely with businesses, FinTechs and government bodies to provide payments that are efficient and safe, while supporting financial inclusion.”