2015 – the year cash may cease to be king

Worldpay, the UK’s biggest payment provider, recently released its predictions for 2015, with biometric data, wearable tech and NFC all on the rise and expected to transform the way consumers pay, taking British businesses closer to the end of cash transactions.

Ron Kalifa, Worldpay’s deputy chairman, anticipates that 2015 could be the year when contactless becomes second nature for Brits as the limit increases to £30, which could have a major impact on the way UK small businesses take payments.

Biometric data will begin to replace your PIN
Biometrics have enjoyed explosive growth in Asia and Worldpay says it won’t be long before it becomes the norm in Britain where novelty, combined with increased security benefits, mean it will have instant appeal. Security isn’t the only plus, however, with some retailers already using it to learn more about their customers to provide better service. All it will take is the adoption by one major bank or retailer to reach the tipping point.

Wearable tech will become a reality
Few companies are better than Apple and Google at bringing emerging technologies to the masses and the launch of the Apple Watch and then Google Wear will make wearable tech a reality in 2015. Other brands are expected to swiftly follow suit and, with the market in wearable technology estimated to be worth up to $50 billion by 2019, the benefits will soon be felt by both consumers and business alike.

Chinese payment providers come of age
One rarely discussed aspect of China’s rise as a global powerhouse is the growth of payment providers such as UnionPay, Alipay and TenPay. The first of these alone has over 3.5 billion cards in circulation and, as China continues to grow and its citizens travel the world – seven million Chinese tourists are set to visit Europe alone this year – the influence of the these companies will grow with it, making them a viable payment method to rival their more established western competitors.

Contactless will leave cash in the shade
Worldpay has seen a rise of over 150 per cent in contactless transactions over the last six months and it’s a trend that isn’t slowing down. In businesses with lots of transactions and where queues can build-up quickly, contactless is already considered a no brainer and, with the limit on payments increasing to £30 next year, 2015 could be when contactless becomes second nature for British consumers.

Smartphones will begin to replace your wallet
With the number of smartphones worldwide predicted to grow to 5.6 billion by 2019, the only surprise is they have taken this long to impact upon the world of payments. Transactions through mobile digital wallets will reach $1.5 trillion by 2017 and the use of Near Field Communication in mobile phones, in particular Apple Pay and Google Wallet will be instrumental in this growth.