GoCompare research reveals continued avoidance of cash handling

A third of UK adults are steering clear of using cash payments due to the potential risk of spreading coronavirus, according to new research commissioned by GoCompare Money. 

The research underlined that the decrease in cash usage inevitably coincides with the significant spike in consumers utilising contactless payments, with 76% of users asked being found to have used a contactless credit or debit card during the pandemic. 

At the commencing of the pandemic, the use of cash was discouraged by the World Health Organisation, whilst contactless payments were subsequently supported, with UK banks raising the contactless limit to £45. 

Evaluating the research, Lee Griffin, CEO and founder of GoCompare, stated: “In early March, there were news reports about the spread of the Coronavirus on banknotes and coins. 

“However, the Bank of England and the World Health Organization have stressed that cash doesn’t pose any greater risk than any other items and, repeated the advice on regular hand washing. However, from the results of our survey, it’s clear that many people remain concerned about the potential of money to be contaminated.”

In spite of this growth, just 16% revealed they’d be eager to live in a cashless society, whilst 14% underlined they have opted to essentially eradicate cash from their lifestyle. 

Commenting on the recent growth in contactless payments, Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, also said: “Just as consumers are becoming more comfortable with contactless and digital payments, we’ve also witnessed this same behavioural shift with our merchant clients. Not only are they placing more emphasis on their payments systems, they’re also considering how providing a quick and easy payments process improves the overall customer experience. 

“Coronavirus has only accelerated this trend, with many traditionally face-to-face businesses switching to online and distance selling for the first time in order to adapt and grow, and it will be interesting to see how card payments continue to evolve in the months ahead.”