“Money itself is changing,” IMF chief Christine Lagarde said in a speech in November last year. Addresing the Singapore Fintech Festival, she asked: “In ten, twenty, thirty years, who will still be exchanging pieces of paper?”
Electronic payments are becoming the norm. Signs now say ‘card only’ in many shop windows and we can pay for low-value goods with a simple tap of our card or even our phones thanks to a range of mobile apps.
In the UK, cash still accounts for just over a third of all payments. But this is predicted to fall to just 16% by 2027 according to UK Finance, the trade association for the banking and finance sector. In Sweden, cash has been virtually eliminated. Only 2% of transactions made in economy are now in cash, according to the Swedish central bank Riksbank.