Customers still pay for more than six in ten transactions with cash, payments association Apacs has revealed, as a brand new £20 note featuring influential economist Adam Smith is launched.
But the cash hegemony is under threat, some commentators claim, as "contactless technology" for debit cards is set to be introduced in 2007.
This new technology enables customers to simply tap their wallet or even their mobile phone to the seller's till and the money is transferred through.
Big in Japan, these contactless devices can be capped by manufacturers to limit the amount that can be taken off a card without the cardholder having to sign or enter a pin, so that sums above £10, for example, cannot be fraudulently paid out by someone other than the cardholder.
Nevertheless, crisp new notes are unlikely to become a thing of the past, Apacs director of communications Sandra Quinn believes.
"We have been using notes in Britain for over 300 years and we expect that we will continue to do so in significant amounts for a long time to come," Ms Quinn observed.To learn more about credit card protection, click here.
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