Viewpoint: How Covid-19 is affecting cash usage

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact on how people live their lives and, as a result of the many lock downs, habits are changing.  One area where change is being seen is in cash usage.  From January to April 2021 EAST ran an online research poll which asked the question In which, if any, of the following ways do you think the outbreak of Covid-19 will affect your use of cash in the next six months?:

  • I will use less cash
  • I will use contactless/mobile payments more (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay etc)
  • I will do more shopping online
  • I will use card payments more
  • I will use ATMs / cash machines less frequently
  • I don’t think coronavirus will affect my use of cash in the next six months
  • I will take more hygiene precautions when using cash (storing it for longer periods, washing it, using gloves to handle it etc)
  • Don’t know

The final results were as follows (nobody ticked that they will take more hygiene precautions when using cash, or that they don’t know).  Over the next 6 months:

  • 84% of all the respondents will use less cash,
  • 69% will use contactless / mobile payments more,
  • 67% will do more shopping online
  • 52% will use cards more
  • 35% will use ATMs / cash machines less frequently
  • and only 16% of the respondents don’t think that the covid-19 pandemic will affect their use of cash as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

These results are consistent with our previous poll, that looked at Covid-19, Cash and the future of payments