Cashless Society – what are your concerns?

Written by Stacey Kutenha

In today's increasingly technologically advanced world, our interaction with technology has evolved far beyond improving how we work or manage our homes. It delves much deeper, as we now witness significant shifts in our trading methods, marking the transition into a cashless economy.

Notably, the statistics from 2021 reveal that more than 23 million people in the UK barely used physical cash (Jones,2022), and as we progress into 2023, this number continues to surge. Yet, with these profound changes comes a substantial share of concerns. To gain insight into public opinions about living in a cashless society, we conducted a poll, and the results are now available.

The Question

We reached out to individuals from various sectors and walks of life, seeking answers to a fundamental query: "What concerns you about the idea of a cashless society?" The respondents had the following options to choose from:

  1. I don't have any concerns.
  2. Exclusion of vulnerable people.
  3. Lack of anonymity.
  4. Other

The outcomes of this survey provide valuable insights into the thoughts and worries of the public regarding the emergence of a cashless society.

The survey results shed light on the sentiments and apprehensions of the public regarding the transition towards a cashless society. Let's delve more deeply into these findings and explore these concerns, implications, and potential consequences.

The Results

The largest proportion of respondents, at 38%, expressed a lack of concern about the move towards a cashless society. This may stem from their familiarity and comfort with digital transactions especially considering ‘an estimated 93% of Brits were using online banking in 2022’ according to digital banking statistics (Boyle & Pennarts,2023), or perhaps they perceive the convenience as outweighing any potential drawbacks. However, it's essential to consider whether this sentiment is widespread across all demographics and sectors of society.

The concern of excluding vulnerable members of society was also a significant one, with 29% of respondents acknowledging this as a potential issue. The shift to digital payments and cashlessness can leave behind those who are homeless, less tech-savvy, or do not have access to the necessary infrastructure. This concern highlights the importance of inclusive policies and support for these individuals to ensure they are not disadvantaged in the evolving financial landscape.

Approximately a quarter of respondents, 25%, voiced apprehensions regarding the loss of anonymity in a cashless society. Digital transactions leave a data trail, raising concerns about privacy and surveillance. Striking a balance between convenience and safeguarding individual privacy will be a challenge for policymakers and businesses as we navigate this transition.

The "Other" category, chosen by 8% of respondents, provides a glimpse into a range of additional concerns that were not covered by the predefined options. These unquantified concerns may encompass a variety of issues like security, fraud, or the potential for financial exclusion based on age, income, or geographic location. Further investigation is needed to better understand the specific worries falling under this category.

As we continue to move towards a cashless economy, it’s clear that a variety of concerns and opinions exist within the public domain. Policymakers, financial institutions, and businesses must carefully consider these perspectives and work towards addressing them in order to ensure a smooth and equitable transition for all members of society (Moorby & Nair,2023). Balancing the convenience of digital transactions with the protection of individual rights and accessibility for all will be a defining challenge in the years to come.



Jones , R, ‘UK cashless society a step closer as more than 23m people abandon coins’.in The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 2022, <> [accessed 18 October 2023].

Boyle M, & M Pennarts, ‘Digital Banking Statistics 2023’.in Finder UK, 2023, <> [accessed 18 October 2023].

Moorby, E, & S Nair, ‘The future of money and... public institutions, regulators and policymakers’. in Deloitte United Kingdom, <> [accessed 18 October 2023].



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