2016 – The year you ditch your wallet

No primary category set

2016 will be the year you throw your wallet away. That’s the prediction of a new report “Money: The Digital Tipping Point” from PayPal. Cash, cheques and cards will no longer be a necessity, all you’ll need will be your mobile phone and you’ll be good to go, whether online or on the high street.

As well as paying for goods without having to queue, the report reveals shoppers can look forward to being able to carry digital loyalty cards, promotional offers and receipts on their phones – keeping everything in one place creating a virtual shopping hub.

PayPal’s findings are based on Forrester Consulting interviews with 10 senior executives from major UK retailers and other businesses, representing a combined 2010 turnover of £85 billion. 45 million Britons use a mobile phone and over a third of mobile users surveyed by Forrester have used the mobile internet to buy something from a retailer’s website. In the future a whole range of devices will be used to make payments direct to the retailer – regardless of whether you’re in store or shopping online.

“2016 will mark the real start of money’s digital switchover in the UK. We’re not saying cash will disappear entirely, but we’ll increasingly use our phones and other devices rather than our wallets to pay in-store as well as online.

The lines between the online world and high street will soon disappear altogether. Children born today will become the UK’s first ‘cashless generation’. It will be completely natural for them to pay by mobile.”
– Carl Scheible, Managing Director of PayPal UK

This isn’t just wishful thinking – back in June of this year Pizza Express rolled out an iPhone app allowing their customers to pay for meals via PayPal. Mind you there’s still a long way to go. The coffee shop I visited today they don’t even take cards and are still strictly a cash based business. Thankfully they spare you the embarrassment of not being able to pay for your cake and tea by telling every customer up front but you have to wonder how they’ll cope with accepting PayPal or indeed any form of mobile phone payments.

There’s also the tricky problem of security tags and the embarrassment of a security guard accosting you at the door because he didn’t see you pay at the checkout. However those problems aside I’d love to go shopping for Christmas presents and just scan and pay for products with PayPal on my mobile and have them automatically delivered to my home – shopping with no bags to carry has it’s attractions.

44 Responses

  1. Over the years there have been many such predictions. Go back to the 1960’s and the TV programme “Tomorrows World”. This programme regularly made such predictions and ever since every few months a similar prediction has appeared in the media.

    In reality while all such devices can and will appear there will still be a place for all of the other methods of payment. Indeed this week it has been announced that the Cheque thought only a couple of months ago to be on its way out is safe again. The cheque card is on its way back.

    So rather than being limited to just various digital means of paying in reality all methods are still available. In time it is possible that some methods will continue to decline but it will be many years before cash, cheques and similar conventional means of paying will disappear.

    After all the older members of society and indeed small shops and traders are happy with them and trust them. Then we have seen with the chaos in the Royal Mail and stamps electronic systems can go very wrong(especially if operated by idiots). The first time that we see a massive glitch and nobody can pay for anything with high tech digital systems while cash soldiers on with no problems and we will all decide that we should retain at least a finger hold on the conventional means of paying.

  2. Some of us remenber the predictions of the paperless office… yeah right. 🙂

    Cash will never die out, not in my lifetime anyway.

  3. I suspect that we’ll never say farewell to cash, and I do hope not. But in the past few weeks I’ve seen people use their phone to pay and contactless cards. The payments landscape is changing fast. A lot of things long predicted are starting to seep through.

    The programme Tomorrow’s World ended in 2003, a lifetime ago in technology terms these days. Raymond Baxter left long before that. I think we can discard that lovely old TV archive classic as an augur of what we’ll see.

    We didn’t get jet packs either.

  4. My business runs entirely on zero physical money. No cash, no cheques, no exchanging of any physical currency for goods whatsoever.
    My husband’s business is the exact opposite. Cash only. It’s unlikely he’ll ever get a card machine or set up any kind of online payment ordering or payment system becuase his customers prefer cash.
    No-one ever asks if he accepts cards these days.

  5. not a chance of a cashless society
    or at least some method of exchanging value without a paper /data trail,
    to many black economy fiddles going on

  6. There is another point about Money. Have you ever actually looked at the money in your pocket. Every coin(and indeed Bank Note) is a minor Work of Art in its own right. Obviously as they wear and become dirty they lose a lot of the artistic value but they retain their intrinsic value.

    A Mint Coin, especially a Gold or Silver Coin, is magnificent. Just look at a Maria Theresa Thaler dated 1790(and still being minted dated 1790 until only a year or two ago). Often stated as the Worlds Most Beautiful Coin. How can a tatty bit of platsic or even worse a pulse from a mobile phone possibly compete with that.

    If we were to lose money it would be tragic. A bit of the magic would go out of our lives to be replaced by soul less plastic. It would be as tragic as when our mainline trains were no longer hauled by magnificent “Kings”, “Castles”, “Duchesses”, “A4’s” etc and were hauled by tatty oily boxes belching out diesel fumes instead.

  7. I think the Euro will be gone by 2016, possibly a lot sooner.

    Cash will never go away because technology however good is unreliable and sooner or latter makes down, look at what happened recently to Blackberry.

  8. I doubt I would reach the level of despair that causes me to you use ‘unnecessary dubious language’ if I could visit this site once in a while and not read about bloody trains.

  9. I think it could be much earlier provided the security and connectivity issues are tackled head on. People will always be reluctant to venture out when they hear about so many scams and malware attacks. so i feel there is still a long way to go but definitely before 2016…regds

  10. Isn’t there a Mayan Theory that the World will end in December 2012. I have heard of this and apparently the ancient Mayans have this in their religion. But, and its a big but, I have no way of knowing if it is accurate or not although come December 2012 we should find out.

    When I was much younger a regular sight on most High Streets was a bloke in a sandwich board with “Repent the End of the World is Nigh” on it. As we are still here obviously the blokes in their Sandwich Boards were wrong.

    But sometime, maybe, somebody will be right. After all the Dinosaurs probably felt that their kind would live for ever when they awoke on the morning of their kinds extinction!!!

  11. “No doubt somebody would say that they only want to hear about Technology but surely that what this is? Or do they just mean electronic whizz bang technology??”

    ‘2016 – The year you ditch your wallet’

    Despite this being about digital money, you have managed to mention steam engines and traction rallies about a dozen times, you’ve even touched on Mayhan theories.

    I can’t bare another minute of having to trawl through endless posts full of drivel and dross just so I can find comments that are on topic.

    Farewell Tamebay chums, have a good Xmas and I wish you all a prosperous 2012.

  12. This I have to see. I’ve heard of news before that cars will be flying by the year 2000 but apparently, cars are still on the ground. It will all depend on how people will take the technology. If they find some real use for it, it just might happen.


Why are more SMEs starting to accept American Express?

Why are more SMEs starting to accept American Express?

Beneko circular smartphone marketplace recruiting sellers

Beneko circular smartphone marketplace recruiting sellers

PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

German Customers switch on to PayPal

German Customers switch on to PayPal

eBay refurbished mobile phone hub launched

eBay refurbished mobile phone hub launched

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars