Cashless society
Here are a few facts to kick off with…

30 per cent of us have not taken cash out of an ATM or bank in the last week

15 per cent of us say that on an average day we don’t use physical notes and coins to pay for goods and services.

It’s no surprise therefore that for the first time cards and digital wallets have overtaken cash in-store as the payment method of choice. In fact a fifth of us now actively avoid shopping in outlets that only take cash.

Whilst the shift to a fully cashless society is still a long way off, the ease and convenience that cards and technology like Apple Pay and PayPal allow is having a marked effect on how we shop – both on and offline. For instance 60 per cent of digital shoppers say that if an etailer doesn’t have the option to pay by PayPal they will abandon their cart and 20 per cent will only use organisations online that have the facility to remember their card meaning that checking out is quick and easy; not the laboured and laborious process of having to type in loads of letters and numbers only to make a mistake and have to start all over again – we’ve all been there…

This change in consumer behaviour fuelled by technology has a significant impact on organisations in terms of the safeguarding of their customers’ data. With more customers wanting better and faster ways to pay (see my article of facial recognition and KFC’s use of the technology as a payment method) the expectation is on organisations to implement increasingly sophisticated solutions to enable this. However, with these solutions comes increased risk of data breaches. Organisations that hold financial information about their customers are a far more attractive prospect to hackers than organisations that only hold customer name and address data. Under the new data protection regulations that come into force next year organisations will have increased responsibility to protect their customers’ personal information (financial or not) and will have to pay steep penalties if they are found in breach of this. It is therefore crucial for companies looking to implement new payment methods to also consider the data footprint and if necessary work with a reputable data specialist to ensure compliance.

If you want to know and understand more about the way data is changing the world you live in, or would like to know how data can add value to your business, please email me at


Dave Gurney

CEO, Alchemetrics - Expert in Data & Digital Marketing
enabling senior marketers to value from engaging customers online.