Is cash becoming a thing of the past?

03/06/2019 By Caroline Ahmed
Research Problem

Previous research had indicated that small retailers may play a part in influencing consumer payment habits and their use of cash by offering alternative options. This hypothesis needed to be put to the test, helping to underscore Cash Services’ position as a focal point for the cash cycle, sharing insight on the evolving use of cash and offering strategic direction for the market.


200 decision makers in cash-heavy small retail businesses completed a telephone survey lasting approximately 15 minutes. The questionnaire covered topics such as attitudes to different methods (including perceived costs) as well as how this has changed over time and is likely to evolve in future. The survey also explored retailers’ willingness to embrace change and thoughts about industry topics such as ‘the cashless society’.


Our research unearthed a number of findings from which the client has been able to plan and strategise, including the expected pace of change, the dynamics between different methods and likely dominance of cash until a significant disruptor emerges, particularly outside of urban areas.

The outputs contributed to Cash Services’ body of insight to ensure its stakeholders have an accurate understanding of cash use in the UK, supporting the wider goal of encouraging collaboration across all parties involved in the cash cycle. The results were shared with representatives from across the industry via a formal webinar event co-presented by Cash Services and BVA BDRC.

"Caroline and Selena were fantastic to work with. They took time to understand the brief and were generous with their time to make amendments as requested. Final presentation was exactly what we were after." Head of Policy and Research

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