Cashing out on money! Beware & embrace

01 July 2021

Did you ever have a favourite denomination of coin or note that you always kept handy to feed the parking meter, release a supermarket trolley, or buy a lotto ticket? In modern economics, many pundits talk about national economies printing money, but now it is the digital variety, rather than the physical currency lingering in your purse, wallet, or indeed dropped down the side of the car seat. I think my favourite cash was the green £1 note, bearing in mind that this was phased out in 1988, which may provide some guidance to my age! The new £50 note is about to be released by the Bank of England (end June 2021) in its polymer format, and perhaps I will make this my new favourite.

With many bank branches closing in High Streets across the UK, in part because they do not make enough profit, and because of the move towards money being used digitally, the use of cash has declined significantly. But this does not mean there is less cash in circulation. The Bank of England notes that about £70 billion is currently in circulation and that this amount is about double that of a decade ago. More can be found here: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/will-cash-die-out

With the concern about the transmission of the coronavirus via physical cash payments, some retail outlets began to decline the use of cash over the last period, which in part has helped to accelerate the decline of the use of cash for transactions (Worldpay suggests from a recent survey about a 13% reduction), as noted in a recent press article here:

https://www.retailtimes.co.uk/uk-expects-to-be-nearly-cashless-by-2024-as-use-of-digital-payments-accelerates-new-worldpay-from-fis-report-finds/

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Taking this further, Worldpay indicated that just 7% of in-store purchases in the UK could be made in cash by 2024, after the coronavirus pandemic fuelled the switch to cards and mobile payments. If your preference is now online shopping, this is unlikely to cause any issues anyway.

However, what is clear is that the way we exist with money, and the way we use or save it, is evolving and will continue to do so. I am not referring to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin here, but our general day-to-day use of our salaries, pension incomes and the like. The digital evolution will continue to make the way we pay for things easier, with contactless payments as a great example. The majority of investment houses will now accept payments in and out electronically as they also evolve in the service they offer us for our clients and investors. However, change also introduces the opportunity for scams, and taking greater care of how you deal with your money digitally is also becoming ever more vital.

It is great to embrace the change in the way money is used, but I will still miss the crisp paper notes last seen in the 1980s!

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS

Director

CFP Chartered FCSI

Chartered Financial Planner

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