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  • A fifth of Brits now ‘never’ carry cash around, according to research

    Researchers who polled 2,000 UK adults found many are now opting to pay using different methods – with contactless, chip and pin and smartphone payments among the most popular.

    Half believe cash is on the way out and will ‘soon’ be superseded by alternative payment methods such as contactless and smartphone payments. Three quarters revealed they now expect ALL retailers to accept cash payment alternatives – such as contactless.

    Commissioned by First Bus, which accepts contactless payments and cash on all services, the study found 44 per cent have been unable to pay for something because ONLY sterling was accepted. These scenarios commonly include paying bus fare, paying for the parking and paying for tourist attractions.

    The news follows a recent announcement that 7 in 10 boarding First West Yorkshire customers are purchasing tickets in advance, with only 2 in 10 paying for their ticket with cash, as customers look for best value for money tickets.

    Martin Hirst, Commercial Director at First West Yorkshire said: “The way people pay for goods and services has evolved, so we needed to ensure our ticketing changed too. The introduction of contactless payments alongside our digital ticketing options means that paying for bus travel is more convenient and simpler than ever before as customers don’t need to worry about having the right change for their bus fare.

    “If more customers switched from cash to contactless, or purchased a digital ticket via our mTickets app, then we would be able to offer a quicker and more efficient bus service.”

    Carried out through OnePoll, the research also found that 47 per cent of adults would be more willing to use buses if contactless payments were accepted on this form of public transport.

    First West Yorkshire introduced new Ticketer machines in January, which enabled customers to pay for their bus tickets in new ways, including via contactless, but the bus operator’s true ambition is to have most of its customers paying for tickets in advance of boarding the bus, i.e. via its mTickets app. The data released shows the average number of boarding customers who are purchasing their tickets in advance is already higher than those paying with cash.

    For more information on First West Yorkshire and mTickets visit www.firstgroup.com or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikblVkHa-aU.